Tag Archives | Northrop Grumman

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Firebird: Proof that MALE sizes matter?

Northrop Grumman The appearance of the Northrop Grumman Firebird, which was spotted on The DEW Line last Tuesday and identified as Firebird by Aviation Week on Thursday, raises many thoughts. Among them: too bad the Scaled Composites Model 355 didn’t exist six years ago, or the army’s extended-range multi-purpose [ERMP] competition could have been a […]

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SPOTTED: Mystery aircraft near Beale AFB? [UPDATE: Solved!]

UPDATE: Well done, @Lightndattic. It looks like we found our answer. The aircraft appears to be the Scaled Composites Model 355, which is surprisingly a manned aircraft, according to the photo above, which was posted two weeks ago on Flickr. The FAA’s registration database says the experimental aircraft was built in 2010 and its serial […]

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VIDEO: In-depth look inside X-47B first flight

Northrop Grumman has released new footage of the X-47B flight about 11 days ago. It includes a few rare peaks inside the X-47B’s internal bays, including landing gear, weapons and electronics. Boeing’s Phantom Ray team preparing for first flight in the second quarter is officially on notice. We want good video!

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VIDEO: US Navy’s first stealth UAV soars

Click here to read the news story at Flightglobal.com. [Update: Here's a 15-minute snippet of the press conference on 5 February with Northrop Grumman and Navy officials. The model is actually an X-47 model from the defunct joint unmanned combat air systems (J-UCAS) program. The speakers on the call include Capt. Jaime Engdahl, Navy UCAS-D […]

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Wikileaks shows US played AESA trick on Gripen in Norway

It was September 2008 in Oslo, and a member of the US embassy named “Whitney” was very worried about the Saab Gripen’s bid for Norway’s fighter contract. “Public opinion has swung away from the F-35 due to negative coverage,” he wrote in a non-classified cable titled “Norway Fighter Purchase: High-Level Advocacy Needed Now”. The consequences […]

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‘Cablegate’ scoops on Rafale, Israeli UAVs, Turkey’s F-35s

Buried in Wikileaks’ latest document dump exposing about 250,000 US diplomatic cables are a few items of real interest to the global aerospace industry. Here’s my list of the five most interesting cables:1. A cable on 4 November 2009 summarizes a meeting between then-US Central Command chief Gen David Petraeus and King Hamad bin Isa […]

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JSTARS goes to Korea

I’m not a betting man, but I’d be happy to offer a wager today. Somewhere inside Northrop Grumman, someone this morning is busy updating briefing charts that make the case for re-engining and upgrading the sensor on the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS).That’s because various South Korean and British press outlets are […]

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Is China’s new decoy a decoy?

Credit: Tom Gordon/Billypix China’s AVIC exhibited a new toy at Zhuhai air show called the TL-8 decoy. The placard on the exhibit booth ominously describes this winged missile body as a “multifunctional medium-sized drone”. By using the loaded term “multifunctional”, it is possible AVIC merely was describing the airframe’s ability as a decoy missile to […]

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DARPA’s T3: Rise of the triple-role missile

Missiles are getting awfully tricky. It was hard enough to develop a missile that can do one thing reliably well. Now the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants to develop a single missile that can perform three different missions. Depending on the target, today’s missiles offer a choice between anti-aircraft (AMRAAM), anti-radiation (HARM) and anti-cruise-missile […]

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PHOTO: Newer, bigger display for F-16 cockpit

Raytheon announced today that the company has won a contract to install a large center pedestal display in F-16s owned by the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve. Here is the first image showing the 6 by 8in color display inside the cockpit. Large-format, color displays could soon become essential for a key […]

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