The MFAS is a 360-degree, field-of-regard active electronically scanned array radar designed for maritime surveillance. The X-Band, two-dimensional sensor features a combination of electronic scanning and a mechanical rotation, allowing the radar to spotlight an area for longer periods and increase detection capabilities of smaller targets, particularly in sea clutter.
"BAMS (broad area maritime surveillance) will provide the U.S. Navy with a very capable persistent maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system to provide a capability to detect, track, classify and identify maritime and littoral targets," said Capt. Bob Dishman, the Navy's BAMS UAS program manager.
Added Steve Enewold, Northrop Grumman vice president for the BAMS program: "With our successful Critical Design Review behind us and sensor testing under way, our customer-industry team is rapidly pulling the components together that will result in first MQ-4C flight next year."
The MFAS tests are being conducted in a laboratory environment at Northrop Grumman and are expected to continue over the next several months in parallel with ongoing radar software mode development and hardware synchronization and integration activities.
The first MFAS sensor is scheduled for delivery to Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector facility in June in San Diego. A second sensor will be delivered in September.
Northrop said risk reduction flight tests of the MFAS are planned for later this year on the company's Gulfstream II test-bed aircraft.
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