Northrop wins $93 million deal to build drone for smaller warships
The plane will be a flying wing with large counter-rotating propellers: that would take off and land on destroyers and frigates, the Pentagon said.
Northrop has been working on a design for the new drone for several years under a joint program called Tern that is led by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Research.
Navy officials would like unmanned aerial systems to carry out intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance measures from smaller warships, but current drones are unable to take off and land from confined spaces at sea and then stay airborne for long periods.
The contract calls for Northrop to build a full-scale medium-altitude demonstration aircraft that would operate on small warships. ■