Leonardo and Northrop Grumman have announced that they will team to jointly pursue opportunities in the Vertical Take-Off and Landing Uncrewed Aerial Systems (VTUAS) domain.
Announced at the DSEI conference in London, the two companies will extend their partnership from their joint offering of Leonardo’s AWHero VTUAS for Australia’s SEA 129 Phase 5 maritime UAS requirement, and will combine Leonardo’s experience in the development of crewed and autonomous helicopters with Northrop Grumman’s capabilities in aeronautics and autonomous uncrewed systems. It will comprise vehicle design, system architectures, payload optimisation, and combat system integration.
“We see this partnership as a great opportunity to leverage the synergies between Leonardo and Northrop Grumman in the sphere of VTOL and UAS technologies,” Managing Director of Leonardo Helicopters, Gian Piero Cutillo said in a joint statement.
“This collaboration comes at a time when we see emerging military and civil requirements worldwide in the uncrewed domain,” he added. “This partnership will enable a strong and concerted approach to existing, as well as next-generation VTOL UAS technologies from two leading global aerospace engineering companies.”
Northrop Grumman’s Chief Executive, UK, Europe, Middle East, Nick Chaffey added, “Northrop Grumman has decades of experience and unmatched expertise in developing and delivering uncrewed and autonomous aerial systems including the RQ-4 Global Hawk, MQ-8C Fire Scout, Firebird – a UAS that has the capability to be flown manned – and the pioneering X-47B aircraft.
“There are many possibilities that our collaboration with Leonardo will deliver for customers worldwide as they look to solve new challenges in a complex, unpredictable threat environment,” Chaffey added.
The two companies have also collaborated on jointly developed the AN/AAQ-24(V) Nemesis Direct Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) system for the US and UK, and currently also includes the US Army’s Common Infrared Countermeasures (CIRCM) system.