Northrop Grumman's MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Unmanned Aircraft System (VUAS) recently completed a flight under the command and control of a new STANAG 4586 compatible ground control station (GCS).
STANAG stands for STANdard AGreement, NATO shorthand for the processes, procedures, terms, and conditions for common military or technical procedures or equipment between the member countries of the alliance.
The GCS comprises multiple radios for voice, secondary command and control and a Tactical Common Data Link for primary command and control and sensor data downlink. The operator stations are fully redundant with PC-based commercial off-the-shelf workstation components.
Northrop Grumman announced that the GCS will also be used for future capability demonstrations with the company-owned P7 Fire Scout VUAS.
The flight tests took place at Yuma Proving Ground in advance of the upcoming Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment, which will take place at Fort Benning, GA.
Mike Roberts, principal investigator of the Ground Control Station and chief engineer for the Fire Scout, Class IV UAV said in a statement, "The recent flight test success at Yuma Proving Grounds continues to highlight Fire Scout's maturity and Northrop Grumman's innovative ability to continually add new capabilities."