Monday, September 26, 2022

Northrop Grumman shares video of Firebird demo at North Dakota facility

U.S. defense contractor Northrop Grumman put out a short video on Facebook showing optionally-piloted Firebird multi-mission aircraft execute Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) demos from the company’s North Dakota facility.

The Firebird is an intelligence-gathering aircraft with autonomous mission capability. Available in manned, autonomous and optionally piloted configurations, Firebird is designed to provide ISR payload and cockpit flexibility through truly open architecture and plug-and-play payload integration.

Northrop Grumman’s Firebird product line delivers a proven airframe with autonomous mission capability. The system’s unique hardware- and software enable users to carry out a wide range of ISR missions for 30 plus hours at approximately 25,000 feet.


Firebird’s innovative architecture represent a new approach to delivering medium altitude ISR. NG’s technology enables mission flexibility, allowing users to accomplish their mission through different pilot and payload configurations, whether for line-of-sight or beyond-line-of sight operations.

Firebird is equipped with wide band Line-of-Sight (LoS) and Beyond-Line-of-Sight (BLoS) data links, onboard storage and accessible processing for rapid data exploitation to ensure timely completion of missions.

The system’s unique design allows sensors to be changed rapidly as plug-and-play devices, reducing ‘first time’ payload integration time from months to days and enabling rapid field changes in less than an hour to increase operational availability and tailored mission suitability.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.