Dropping bombs from UAVs

Northrop Grumman has demonstrated that it can release a weapon from a medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle demonstrator.


Northrop Grumman

has demonstrated that it can release a weapon from a medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) demonstrator during flight-testing conducted in February over Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

The drop of the 500-pound inert weapon was made from Proteus, the manned UAV surrogate developed by Scaled Composites, Mojave, CA.

Northrop Grumman are developing a new multi-mission MALE UAV dubbed Model 395 that will be based on Proteus. Model 395 will be able to perform a variety of missions ranging from traditional intelligence gathering to weapons delivery.

In addition to its 900-pound internal payload capacity, it will be able to carry external payloads of up to 6,500 pounds. It also has more than 100 cubic feet of unused internal volume.

Model 395 is the latest addition to Northrop Grumman’s portfolio of UAVs that includes the high-altitude, long-endurance RQ-4 Global Hawk aerial reconnaissance system; the medium altitude endurance Hunter II, its shorter-range, lower-altitude RQ-5 Hunter tactical UAV, and the RQ-8 Fire Scout vertical take-off and landing tactical UAV.