AFP

Northrop Grumman wins DARPA TERN programme 30 December, 2015

Northrop Grumman is selected to demonstrate what an MQ-9 Reaper-sized unmanned air vehicle (UAV) can operate at sea from ships smaller than an aircraft carrier. The Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) eliminated AeroVironment  on Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node (TERN) programme. Northrop will design, develop and demonstrate the medium-altitude, long-endurance UAV that will transform every ship into mini aircraft carriers. The programme aims to combine positive sides of fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft to cooperate on small ships. Helicopters are relatively limited in their distance and flight time. Fixed-wing manned and unmanned aircraft can fly farther and longer but require either aircraft carriers or large, fixed land bases with runways often longer than a mile. So the answer is the combination according to DARPA papers called Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node (TERN) program. 

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