Northrop Grumman has offered the U.S. Air Force and Customs and Border Protection a new unmanned training aircraft under a structure that aims to help the government save $70 million in annual maintenance and procurement expenses, Breaking Defense reported Tuesday.
Richard Whittle writes the company presented the SandShark (nee Sand Storm ed) at the international trade show of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International held in Washington.
The company intends to rent the drone on an hourly rate under a fee-for-service system for drills that normally utilize MQ-1 Predators and MQ-9 Reapers, according to the report.
Karl Purdy, Northrop director of new UAS programs, told Breaking Defense the company designed SandShark to perform about 50 touch-and-go landings per hour.
Whittle reports the SandShark can be controlled via the Internet or a 4G network and can also be flown at Federal Aviation Administration-accredited airfields in Arizona, Montana or Oklahoma.