American multinational aerospace and defence prime Northrop Grumman has officially put forward a worthy contender for “Ugliest Aircraft of the Year”.
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The misshapen, bee-stung nosed and modified CRJ-700 Bombardier civilian jet was successfully demonstrated as a deep-sensing and targeting platform for the US Army at EDGE 2023 (the Experimental Demonstration Gateway Event) in Arizona earlier this year.
While the aircraft has been hit firmly in the frontal area with the ugly stick, it nevertheless features crucial integrated multi-domain deep-sensing architecture and elements of the TITAN pre-prototype system for intelligence collection beyond visual line of sight of local sensors.
Northrop Grumman integrated national systems vice-president Pablo Pezzimenti said the aircraft was about to gather and fuse data for rapid dissemination, collect and analyse data from commercial satellites, and meet 100 per cent of the criteria for the experimentation during a simulated, real-world tactical scenario.
“Northrop Grumman’s groundbreaking technology can help the Army realise its vision of deep-sensing with the ability to identify, monitor, target, and strike threats from farther distances and with greater precision,” he said.
“We are supporting the warfighter’s targeting needs with intelligence collection beyond line of site and leveraging aerial assets in providing multi-domain fused data directly to the front lines.”