DARPA Taps Northrop to Build Reconnaissance Drone Demonstrator; Dan Patt, Gil Graff Comment

northrop-Grumman_BLUEAs covered by GovCon Wire Monday, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency selected a Northrop Grumman-led team to develop a demonstrator platform of an unmanned aerial system under phase three of the Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node program.

Tern is a joint initiative of DARPA and the Office of Naval Research to develop a medium-altitude, long-endurance drone that will work to perform intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance missions for small-deck ships and use such vessels as launch and recovery platforms, DARPA said Monday.

“The design we have in mind for the Tern demonstrator could greatly increase the effectiveness of any host ship by augmenting awareness, reach and connectivity,“ said Dan Patt, a program manager at DARPA.

“If successful, Tern could open up exciting future capabilities for Navy small-deck surface combatants and U.S. Marine Corps air expeditionary operations,“  said Gil Graff, deputy program manager for Tern at ONR.

Northrop will develop a Tern prototype under the potential two-year, $93.1 million phase three contract from DARPA.


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