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DARPA's Tail-Down Drone Set For Vertical Launch In 2018 by Michael Irving
New Atlas.com, Northrop Grumman News  ISBN/ITEM#: CM161221LAUNCH
Date: 21 December 2016

Links: New Atlas.com Article #1 / Northrop Grumman News Release / New Atlas.com Article #2 /

In conjunction with DARPA and the US Navy's Office of Naval Research (ONR), Northrop Grumman's Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node (TERN) UAV has passed two critical design reviews (CDRs) with expectations of conducting a full demonstration in 2018.

From release/information:

DARPA's goal to develop a UAV that can launch from small-deck ships in the US Navy and Marine Corps fleets, for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, as well as targeting and strike missions, is a step closer to getting off the ground, according to Northrop Grumman's latest progress report on the Tern program.  The company has announced that the Tern unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has passed two critical design reviews (CDRs), putting it on track for a full demonstration in 2018.

The Tern program is being conducted by DARPA and the US Navy's Office of Naval Research (ONR).  To make use of limited space on a ship without a full runway on deck, the Tern takes off vertically from a tail-sitting position before leveling out in the air and transitioning to horizontal flight.  With a range of more than 600 nautical miles (690 mi, 1,111 km) the aircraft is designed to carry payloads of over 1,000 lb (454 kg) and would support large ship-based, long-range, long-endurance unmanned air systems.

(Source: New Atlas.com, Northrop Grumman)

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