...MOSS POINT, Miss. – The Northrop Grumman Unmanned Systems
Center during the quarter began production of the Navy’s Broad Area
Maritime Surveillance version of the Global Hawk.
...Workers at the facility will be doing fuselage work on the aircraft in a
contract valued at $10 billion. The fuselage consists of three sections,
forward, mid and aft, which are built and mated in Moss Point then shipped to
the primary production facility in Palmdale, Calif., for final assembly.
...BAMS, designated MQ-4, is based on the Global Hawk platform, an
unmanned surveillance aircraft powered by a Rolls-Royce turbofan engine that
can fly at a maximum altitude of 65,000 feet.
...BAMS is a maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system
that will support a variety of missions while operating independently or in
direct collaboration with fleet assets. It will conduct open-ocean and littoral
surveillance of surface threats.
...With this contract, Northrop Grumman will produce 58 for the Navy.
BAMS prototypes are in service under the demonstration program.
...The Air Force has been using its version, designated RQ-4, for years.
NASA also has a version of the earlier plane built in the DARPA program.
Germany has also bought a version, called “EuroHawk.”
...NATO is looking to buy Global Hawk, and other countries have expressed
interest.
...Northrop Grumman has said for a long time that more work will be brought
to the Unmanned Systems Center. The company has an option on another 30
acres north of its present facility at the Jackson County Aviation Technology
Park.

October 2010
Aerospace
BAMS goes into production