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Fri, Jun 15, 2012

Navy Proceeds With Plans To Unveil MQ-4C UAV

Aircraft Similar To One That Went Down In Maryland Tuesday

The first production version of the Navy's MQ-4C UAV was unveiled Thursday. The Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) aircraft is similar to the one that went down earlier this week on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

The publication NextGov indicates that the MQ-4C, which is a version of the Air Forces' Global Hawk UAV, has been equipped with Navy-specific systems such as multifuncion active sensors which provide a 360 degree field of view in a marine environment and wideband satellite communications systems.

NAVAIR says that the BAMS program is a key part of its next-generation strategy for maritime patrol and reconnaissance. Other components include the new P-8 Poseidon aircraft, as well as the EP-X electronic warfare aircraft.

The Global Hawk has not been without its problems, with the Air Force losing several of the aircraft since its introduction for a variety of communications and software issues. The Air Force is phasing out the UAVs in favor of conducting manned U-2 flights, which NextGov reports the service says are more cost-effective.

The rollout comes as the FAA is working towards the integration of UAVs in the National Air Space. The BAMS version of the Global Hawk is equipped with ADS-B hardware which make it easier for civilian pilots and air traffic controllers to track. (File image)



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