posted on Aug, 30 2013 @ 09:02 AM
A new threat has arisen to the Global Hawk and Triton programs. All work on the Exelis Air-to-Air Radar Subsystem (AARS) has stopped since April.
The AARS is the "See and Avoid" radar system that would be installed on both the RQ/MQ/EQ-4 and other UAV systems to allow them to operate in areas
where commercial flights operate. Without a sense and avoid system the UAVs can't operate without a chase aircraft to broadcast an IFF signal for
ATC to follow (most don't carry a transponder).
Work was halted on April 25th due to cost overruns and "technical issues". The Navy is the lead on the development of the system, and is working on
finding a substitute for the Exelis system.
The U.S. Navy stopped work four months ago on a crucial part of the MQ-4C Triton unmanned air system and is working to find a substitute, service
and industry officials confirm. The Exelis Air-to-Air Radar Subsystem (AARSS) sense-and-avoid radar project was halted April 25 due to technical
problems and cost overruns, the Navy said last week.
A sense-and-avoid capability is “vital” to the MQ-4C, according to Tom Vice, president of Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems segment. Triton is
designed to operate in oceanic airspace, where there is no outside radar surveillance. The radar or an equivalent sensor is required so the UAS can
avoid colliding with a “non-cooperative” aircraft that is not using any other collision-avoidance system.