AUSA: Northrop pitches STARLite for MQ-8C

Washington DC
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This story is sourced from Flight International
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Northrop Grumman plans to pitch its ZPY-1 STARLite ground surveillance radar for the US Navy's future MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter.

"We're going to bid this on our Fire Scout C for the navy," says Mike Lobb, Northrop's business development director for tactical sensor solutions.

The 20kg (45lb) active electronically scanned radar, which is mounted on a rotating mechanical gimble, has a 360° field of regard, but the antenna itself has a 110° field of view.

STARLite also has synthetic aperture radar, ground moving target indicator and dismount moving target indicator modes. In the latter, the system can track humans walking on the ground from a range of 4.3nm (8km).

The radar is not the version that is currently mounted on the US Army's General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-1C, but it is an extended range model. It will also have enhancements so that it can perform in a maritime environment.

Lobb says the radar is nearing the point where it might also be exportable. A number of "tier one" NATO allies have expressed interest in the system.