Perth technology company Orbital UAV has been contracted by Northrop Grumman to develop a hybrid propulsion system for a Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
Under the agreement, Orbital UAV will develop, supply and support two initial hybrid propulsion systems which combine an electric motor with the company’s flight-proven heavy fuel engine for integration into Northrop Grumman’s small UAV development platform.
Todd Alder, CEO and Managing Director of Orbital UAV, said a successful outcome of the project could lead to additional commercial production opportunities for Orbital UAV.
“This new contract of work represents another opportunity for Orbital UAV to expand its customer base of global defence prime contractors and further develop our range of products to meet the evolving needs of the tactical UAV market,” Mr Alder said.
Rob Sova, director, Autonomous Systems operating unit, Northrop Grumman, stated:
“Northrop Grumman is developing the next generation of VTOL UAVs,” Mr Sova said.
“Orbital UAV will help augment our research and development initiatives in anticipation and support of our customers’ needs.”
Work on the project will be carried out at the Orbital’s production and design facility in Perth, WA, with delivery of the two prototype propulsion systems for flight-testing anticipated to occur during 2021.