The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announce on Monday that Northrop Grumman and AeroVironment have been selected to design a new unmanned air system to launch and recover from small ships.
The contract was awarded for the second phase of the Tern program, a joint effort between Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research
The goal of Tern is to give forward-deployed small ships the ability to serve as mobile launch and recovery sites for medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial systems (UAS).
Dan Patt, DARPA program manager, said the program’s goal is to develop technologies the Navy could integrate into future fleets and help the Defense Department deploy intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and strike capabilities.
DARPA plans to select one vendor to build a demonstrator Tern system for initial ground-based tests under the program’s third phase.