Upgraded Batplane takes to the skies

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

Northrop Grumman has successfully flown the first in a new series of Bat unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). 



The upgraded aircraft - which feature a 10 or 12-foot wingspan - are powered by Hirth engines and low acoustic signature five-blade propellers.

During recent testing, the 12-foot and 10-foot wingspan Bat were each successfully launched from an AAI Shadow UAS launcher and autonomously operated from a single ground control station before recovery via net. 



The Bat has also demonstrated its capacity to provide beyond line-of-sight tactical communications relay for ground forces in denied environments, which is often a critical role in irregular, or asymmetrical warfare.

In addition, the BAT UAS has been integrated and tested with new payloads and systems including a T2 Delta dual payload micro-gimbal, real-time moving target indicator and short wave infrared camera.

The BAT is ideally suited to an irregular warfare environment and offers real-time intelligence capabilities, along with advanced surveillance, reconnaissance and communications options.