Northrop Grumman Australia is supporting the possible integration of the Australian-designed Sentient Vision Kestrel Land and Maritime moving target indicator (MTI) system on the MQ-8C Fire Scout and MQ-4C Triton unmanned systems.
Already fielded on or integrated with other unmanned systems such as the RAAF’s Heron UAS and Northrop Grumman’s BAT system, Kestrel is a software solution that automatically detects and discriminates small targets such as small boats and vehicles, submarine periscopes, people in the water or on foot or even floating life jackets in EO/IR full motion video.
It provides visual and audio cues to counter operator fatigue during prolonged missions and can automatically transform full motion video into actionable target data.
Northrop Grumman Australia sirector of strategy and business development Ken Crowe said the company is very impressed with the Kestrel product and that it’s keen to widen its application onto the Fire Scout and eventually the Triton.
“Australian industry has a capacity and solutions to add capability to Triton,” Crowe said. “It’s an attractive proposition to investigate for the land and maritime surveillance mission and is something that brings value to the warfighter.”
To this end, Sentient has signed a contract with the US Navy to integrate the Kestrel system on the Fire Scout, while Northrop Grumman also sees an opportunity for Sentient’s new Visual Detection & Range (ViDAR) product to be used by Triton. ViDAR offers detection improvements of between 20 and 80 times over existing EO/IR systems and processes the target data onboard the aircraft before sending it down to a ground control segment (GCS) for analysis and action.