The US Navy has shortlisted Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman to continue work on the definition of an architecture for co-ordination and integration of its maritime unmanned surv­eill­ance assets from around 2013.

Separate from the Navy’s Persistent Unmanned Maritime Airborne Surveillance architecture study, on which Lockheed and Northrop are also working, the Maritime and Littoral Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance mission architecture is intended to integrate the proposed Broad Area Maritime Surveillance UAV, the Northrop Grumman RQ-8B Firescout VTOL UAV and existing tactical control systems. The Boeing P-8A Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft would also be able to interface with the proposed architecture.

Speaking at the conference, the head of the Navy’s PMA-263 programme executive office for weapons and UAVs, Cdr Dave Falk, said that “the goal of this is to understand how best to use a whole family of unmanned air systems, in the maritime environment and to address all the issues that we need to consider”.

Source: Flight International