DARPA, Navy Set 2018 Tests for Northrop’s Tern Unmanned Air System Prototype

ternThe Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the U.S. Navy‘s Office of Naval Research aim to commence ground-based and at-sea flight tests of a Northrop Grumman-built prototype unmanned air system in 2018 as part of the Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node program.

DARPA said Thursday its joint Tern project with ONR seeks to utilize forward-deployed small-deck ships such as destroyers and frigates as mobile launch and recovery sites for UAS.

Northrop was awarded an initial $93.1 million “other transaction” agreement in December 2015 to build a UAS demonstrator under the third phase of the Tern project and another $17.8 million OTA modification in June 2016 to develop a second demonstrator platform.

The program has completed the wing fabrication of UAS for small-deck ships, tests on a General Electric-made engine and software integration of simulation tools that will support rapid testing of aircraft control.

“We’re making substantial progress toward our scheduled flight tests, with much of the hardware already fabricated and software development and integration in full swing,” said Brad Tousley, director of DARPA’s tactical technology office.

DARPA and ONR plan to test Tern’s integrated propulsion system next year, then proceed with a series of ground and flight tests sometime in 2018.

You may also be interested in...

Jay Lambke President GAI

Government Acquisitions Obtains SBA HUBZone Program Certification; Jay Lambke Quoted

Cincinnati, Ohio-based company Government Acquisitions Inc. has been accredited by the Small Business Administration under a program that seeks to provide economic benefits to government contractors from historically underutilized business zones.

Satellite launch

SpaceX Launches Satellite for Multinational Ocean Observation Effort

SpaceX has sent to space a satellite designed to monitor sea levels across the globe under a U.S.-U.K. partnership. The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base on a mission to collect sea level data, support ship navigation and inform weather forecasts, NASA said Sunday.


KBR Gets $65M Navy Contract Modification for Base Support Services

KBR has received a one-year, $64.8M contract modification to carry out base operating support services at various U.S. Navy installations in Djibouti and Kenya.