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Northrop Grumman's X-47A Pegasus Unmanned Vehicle Successfully Completes Second Taxi Test

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Sept. 9, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's Integrated Systems sector has achieved another milestone in preparation for the first flight of its X-47A Pegasus experimental unmanned air vehicle (UAV) with the successful completion of the vehicle's second taxi test at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, Calif.

Northrop Grumman designed and built the Pegasus unmanned system with its own funds to demonstrate aerodynamic qualities suitable for autonomous flight operations from an aircraft carrier as part of the company's naval unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV-N) program. Built mostly with composite materials, Pegasus measures 27.9 feet long with a nearly equal wingspan of 27.8 feet.

The second low-speed taxi test conducted Sept. 6, was designed to demonstrate more extensively integrated navigation and control. Steering performance also was further demonstrated as the vehicle turned onto a runway and moved down it in a zig-zag pattern.

The first taxi test in July exercised the initial capabilities of the X-47A's command and control, steering, brakes and navigation. Results from both tests will be analyzed as part of the preparation for first flight.

The results of the Pegasus flight demonstration program will be used in Northrop Grumman's UCAV-N work for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Navy. The goal of the joint DARPA/Navy UCAV-N project is to demonstrate the technical feasibility for an unmanned system to effectively and affordably conduct sea-based surveillance, strike and suppression of enemy air defenses missions within the emerging global command and control architecture.

With more than 50 years of experience in unmanned systems integration, Northrop Grumman has leveraged its expertise with unmanned systems such as Global Hawk and Fire Scout on the Pegasus and UCAV-N programs.

Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems is a premier aerospace systems integration enterprise. It has the capabilities to design, develop, integrate, produce and support complete aircraft systems, as well as airframe subsystems, for airborne surveillance and battle management, early warning, airborne electronic warfare and air combat missions. It is also integrating these capabilities for emerging network-centric warfare concepts.

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Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems
(310) 331-3616

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