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Northrop Grumman gets DARPA Tern contract

Tern program aims to make drones fly farther, longer and more cost effectively.

By
Geoff Ziezulewicz
Northrop Grumman has received a $17.7 million contract modification for DARPA's Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node program, which aims to make drones fly farther for longer. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Angus Beckles
Northrop Grumman has received a $17.7 million contract modification for DARPA's Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node program, which aims to make drones fly farther for longer. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Angus Beckles

WASHINGTON, June 20 (UPI) -- Northrop Grumman has received a $17.7 million contract modification as part of DARPA's Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node, or Tern, program.

Tern is a project that aims to make it quicker, easier, and less expensive for the U.S. military to deploy drones for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and strike capabilities, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency said in a project summary.

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Northrop's contract modification goes toward phase 3 of the Tern program, helping to design, develop and demonstrate enabling technologies and system attributes for a medium-altitude, long-endurance shipboard-capable drone launch and recovery system that can be used on smaller ships.

Phase 3 in particular focuses on design, fabrication and testing of a Tern prototype.

Additional tasks included under the modification include the fabrication, assembly and checkout of a second Tern air vehicle.

The modification takes the contract's total to $150.2 million.

Work will be performed in California, New York and Texas, with an expected completion date of December 2018.

DARPA is the contracting activity.

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