Naval Air: April 23, 2001


Northrop Grumman has unveiled its Pegasus Naval Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle. The prototype is 8.46m long with a wing-space of 8.44m. It is diamond-shaped (the wingtips being about 2/3 of the way back along its length), looking more like a two-bladed hunting arrowhead than anything else. A single JT15-D5C engine occupies a large cylindrical bulge down the center of the aircraft. The first Pegasus will be completed this summer and will conduct 12 test flights by the end of the year. The data generated will be used to design the next generation of Naval UCAVs. Engineering and manufacturing development should start by 2008. (Boeing has a separate contract to develop the same vehicle.) The UCAV-Ns will use the Navy's next-generation carrier landing system which uses GPS to determine the relative positions of an aircraft and the carrier. The system is designed to be accurate within 20cm (eight inches).--Stephen V Cole


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