The U.S. Marine Corps has began to develop a large Group 5 unmanned aerial system that will operate from a ship to support the Marine Air-Ground Task Force as well as U.S. Navy fleets and U.S. Army ground forces, USNI News reported Monday.
Megan Eckstein writes Lt. Col. Noah Spataro, Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration unmanned aircraft systems capabilities integration and requirements officer, told USNI News that the Joint Requirements Oversight Council has approved the service branch’s initial capacities document for the MAGTF UAS Expeditionary program.
MUX will work to address seven capacity gaps such as MAGTF C4, early warning, persistent fires, electronic warfare, escort, tactical distribution, reconnaissance, intelligence, surveillance and target acquisition.
“Our analysis of alternatives will look at all the possibilities that are out there, all the existing capabilities – things like modified commercial airplanes to MQ-1s, MQ-9s, and developmental things like the Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node program,” Spataro told USNI News.
Northrop Grumman received a two-year, $93.1 million transaction agreement from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in December to develop and prototype a UAS system that will launch and recover from small carrier ships as part of DARPA’s TERN project.