Northrop Grumman has signed agreements with Tenax Aerospace and Grand Sky Development Company, LLC (“Grand Sky”) for rights to purchase Firebird, the company’s new, optionally piloted intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft system.
Grand Sky is the United States’ first commercial unmanned aerial vehicle testing and training center, Tenax Aerospace provides special mission aircraft and related aviation services to the U.S. government and commercial customers. Both companies see Firebird as meeting critical information gaps for their businesses.
“We are excited to bring Firebird to Grand Sky and to utilize its long-endurance and variable payload capabilities for commercial customers. Our goal is to support energy infrastructure monitoring and humanitarian and disaster relief operations by leveraging Firebird’s range, altitude and endurance,” said Thomas Swoyer Jr., president and partner with Grand Sky.
“Firebird allows Tenax Aerospace to bring industry leading adaptability and flexibility in data collection at an extremely affordable price point to meet the needs of our sophisticated U.S. government and global security customers,” said Tom Foley, chairman, Tenax Aerospace. “Firebird provides a unique flexibility and responsiveness that we feel is essential for the critical missions we support today and in the future.”
Firebird is equipped with wide band Line-of-Sight (LoS) and/or Beyond-Line-of-Sight (BLoS) data links, onboard storage and accessible processing for rapid data exploitation to ensure timely completion of missions for industry and government customers. The system allows sensors to be changed rapidly as plug-and-play devices, reducing first time payload integration time from months to days and enabling rapid field changes in less than an hour to increase operational availability and tailored mission suitability. Firebird is designed to deliver 30-plus hours of endurance and up to 25,000 feet.