SAN DIEGO, May 8 (UPI) -- A small unmanned autonomous helicopter system called the Rotary Bat is being developed by Northrop Grumman and Yamaha Motor Corporation.
Rotary Bat combines a Yamaha airframe with Northrop's autonomous control and intelligence-gathering technologies. It will be for use in urban environments tasks such as search and rescue, power line inspection and forest fire observation, Northrop said in announcing the collaboration.
"The R-Bat joins our existing Bat family of unmanned aircraft systems used for tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions," said George Vardoulakis, vice president for medium range tactical systems, Northrop Grumman. "Yamaha Motor's lineage of reliable products speaks to the strength of R-Bat as a new member of our proven unmanned system portfolio."
The R-Bat is based on Yamaha's RMAX remotely-piloted unmanned helicopter, which is used in farming and industrial support in Japan.
"Northrop Grumman's merging of our efficient and affordable aircraft with their expertise in autonomous control systems will deliver a unique capability to their Bat UAS portfolio," said Toshizumi Kato, president, Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A.
Additional details on the system being developed were not disclosed.