UNMANNED SURFACE VEHICLES
TRAIL UNMANNED VEHICLE (ACTUV)
BRIEFING: The Sea Hunter ACTUV Sea is a large USV designed
to trail submarines continuously for long durations with active
sonar, sparing the need for continuous surveillance by manned
platforms. The maritime autonomy system has been tested on a
surrogate platform. The vessel is being built by Vigor, with
Leidos providing the autonomy system. The Sea Hunter is
expected to begin sea trials in early 2016.
CON TRACTORS: .........Vigor, Leidos
UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEMS
BRIEFING: The MQ-4C Triton Broad-Area Maritime
Surveillance (BAMS) unmanned aerial system (UAS) will be a
forward-deployed, land-based, remotely operated system that
provides a persistent maritime ISR capability using a multisensor mission payload (maritime radar, electro-optical/infrared,
electronic support measures, automatic identification system
and basic communications relay) at planned operational ranges
up to 2,000 nautical miles. The MQ-4C will provide combat
information to operational and tactical users such as the
Expeditionary Strike Group, Carrier Strike Group and the Joint
Forces Maritime Component Commander. MQ-4C-collected
data posted to the Global Information Grid will support a variety of operations and associated intelligence activities.
In April 2008, Northrop Grumman Corp. was awarded the
System Development and Demonstration contract, leveraging
the U.S. Air Force RQ-4B Global Hawk Block 20 design to provide the initial air vehicle baseline. From this baseline, the Navy
has made improvements for reliability, maintainability, all-weather capability and maritime performance. Developmental
Test & Evaluation began in late 2011 and two initial developmental aircraft have been built.
The MQ-4C’s first flight occurred on May 22, 2013. The first
two MQ-4C — SDD- 1 and 2 — were delivered to the VX- 20 at
Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Md., in September
2014 and October 2014, respectively, to begin Navy test and
evaluation. A third, Northrop Grumman-owned MQ-4C arrived
at Patuxent River in December 2014.
The two System Demonstration Test Articles — the fourth
and fifth Tritons to be built — will join the fleet after they go
through initial operational test and evaluation. Low-rate initial
production advanced procurement was approved February 2015
and the full contract is expected to be approved in 2016.
IOC is scheduled for fiscal 2018. Triton will reach IOC when
four operational MQ-4Cs are available for one orbit, achieving
the ability to maintain a continuous orbit from a deployment
site. At Full Operational Capability, the MQ-4C will support up
to five maritime orbits worldwide as a key operational platform
in maintaining maritime domain awareness.
The Navy plans to procure 68 MQ-4Cs in addition to the two
SDD prototypes. The first of two operational Triton squadrons,
VUP- 19, has formed at NAS Jacksonville, Fla., and is expected
to build up to 500 personnel and 12 MQ-4Cs. VUP- 11 will be
established at NAS Whidbey Island, Wash., as the second oper-
ational squadron. The two operational squadrons together
would field five orbits, for a total requirement of 20 Tritons. The
remaining 38 aircraft would sustain the program for attrition,
training and depot-level maintenance.
WINGSPAN: .................. 130. 9 feet
LENGTH:...................... 47. 6 feet
WEIGHT: .......................gross takeoff weight 32,250 pounds
AIRSPEED:...................330 knots true air speed (TAS)
ENDURANCE:..............more than 24 hours
CEILING:....................... 60,000 feet
POWER PLANT:........... 1 Rolls-Royce AE3007H turbofan engine
CONTRACTOR: ...........Northrop Grumman Corp.
RQ-4A BROAD AREA MARITIME
BRIEFING: The BAMS-D, formerly known as the Global Hawk
Maritime Demonstration, is being used to develop Navy concepts of operations, tactics, techniques and procedures to support integration of a persistent unmanned ISR capability into
The basic RQ-4A Global Hawk UAS, manufactured for the
Air Force by Northrop Grumman, is one of the largest and most
advanced UASs fielded by the U.S. military. The BAMS-D
Integrated Sensor Suite features electro-optical, infrared, SAR,
GMTI and wide-area search modes found in the Air Force production systems. In addition, an LR- 100 electronic surveillance
suite, AIS receiver, inverse SAR, and maritime search and maritime moving target indicator modes have been integrated into
the demonstrator system to improve performance in the maritime environment.
Since BAMS-D deployed to U.S. Central Command in early
2009, the system has provided Commander, Task Force 57, with
dedicated maritime and littoral ISR in support of theater maritime intelligence and surveillance activities with thousands of
images, radar tracks and AIS data.
In 2011, the Navy acquired three additional RQ-4As divested by the Air Force. The BAMS-D system now comprises four
production Block 10 RQ-4A Global Hawk air vehicles (plus one
lost in a mishap in 2012) and a ground segment consisting of