Northrop Grumman group has declared the start of the testing activity of its new Multi-Function Active Sensor (MFAS), which is being developed to serve the U.S Navy. The new sensor would be used on the MQ-4C Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System (BAMS UAS).
The MFAS is designed for maritime surveillance and is essentially made up of a 360°field-of-regard active radar array that is electronically scanned. The X-band sensor is two-dimensional and comes with the capability of capturing the area of interest through the radar for extended period and is able to fish out small targets hidden in the sea clutter.
Capt. Bob Dishman, who is the program manager for BAMS UAS, explained that the BAMS is a system that provides continuous maritime intelligence, surveillance and investigation. Using BAMS it is possible to detect, classify, track and identify the maritime targets. The testing is being carried out at the laboratory of the Northrop Grumman and is expected to go on for several months. Radar software mode development and integration activities are going on simultaneously in the laboratories. The first phase delivery of the MFAS sensor is to be done in June and the second phase in September. The delivery would be made at the Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems sector in San Diego, California. The risk reduction flight tests of MFAS would be done on the aircraft at the Gulfstream II test-bed.
The sensor is a first step towards assisting the U.S navy warfighter with powerful ISR ability, according to Paul Kalafos, Vice President of Northrop group’s Surveillance System. The MFAS is capable of working independently or directly along with the fleet assets. The BAMS UAS is the latest entry into the group of unmanned systems designed by Northrop Group. Northrop Grumman group has vast knowledge and expertise in building unmanned and automatic flight controls.