Navy awards $60.9M deal for maritime drone program

Navy BAMS-D Global Hawk

The Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman a $60.9 million contract for continued development of a Global Hawk unmanned maritime surveillance aircraft.

The cost-plus-fixed-fee contract calls for operations and maintenance in support of theBroad Area Maritime Surveillance – Demonstrator (BAMS-D), an RQ-4A Global Hawk intended for long-range persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

The Global Hawk, with a wingspan of 130.9 feet, can fly at altitudes up to 60,000 feet—above most weather—and for as long as 30 hours, sending its data and imagery via satellite to a Navy ground station. BAMS-D has been used in combat missions and domestically to aid in disaster response, for instance during wildfires in California and along the coasts of Louisiana and Texas after Hurricane Ike in 2008.

BAMS-D, which includes two advanced radars, also has been used to develop methods for integrating the Automatic Identification System, which expands the Navy’s ability to track vessels at sea, into Fleet operations.

The contract covers work through June 2016

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