Global Hawk RQ-4N UAV to Perform Maritime Surveillance for the U.S. Navy


The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) an 89-month, $1.16 billion contract for System Development and Demonstration (SDD) of the service’s new Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System (BAMS UAS) program.

The BAMS UAS will provide the U.S. Navy with a persistent maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) system to protect the fleet and provide a capability to detect, track, classify, and identify maritime and littoral targets.

Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4N, a marinized version of the RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned air vehicle, will be the platform for the BAMS UAS suite of maritime surveillance sensors and communications systems. RQ-4N’s multi-mission maritime ISR system will support a variety of missions while operating independently or in direct collaboration with other maritime surveillance assets such as the new Boeing P-8 Poseidon. The new UAS will be able to provide a continuous on-station presence while conducting open-ocean and littoral surveillance of targets. When operational, BAMS will play a key role in providing commanders with a persistent, reliable picture of surface threats, covering vast areas of open-ocean and littoral regions, minimizing the need to utilize other manned assets to execute surveillance and reconnaissance tasks.

RQ-4N BAMS team members include: Raytheon, which will support the Mission Control System segment and provide the electro-optical/infrared sensor; L-3 Communications, which will provide communications integration; Aurora Flight Sciences, which will provide the V-tail assembly and other composite structures; Rolls-Royce Corporation, which will provide the aircraft engine; Sierra Nevada Corporation, which will provide the Electronic Support Measures system; and Vought Aircraft Industries, which will supply the wing.

“Northrop Grumman was chosen for the BAMS UAS SDD contract based upon a deliberate and meticulous source selection process designed to make a best value determination on behalf of the Navy,” said Captain Robert Dishman, program manager, PMA-262. “With Northrop Grumman as our industry partner, we are ready to begin SDD and take the next step towards delivering a persistent maritime ISR capability to the Fleet and warfighter.” In addition to serving as the Navy’s BAMS prime contractor and unmanned aerial vehicle supplier, Northrop Grumman has developed the BAMS Multi-Function Active Sensor active electronically scanned array radar at its Norwalk, Conn., facility.