U.S. Army officials needed small, lightweight radar systems for the Army's MQ-1C Sky Warrior Extended-Range Multi-Purpose unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). They found their solution from the Northrop Grumman Corp. Electronic Systems segment in Baltimore. The Army awarded Northrop Grumman a contract option to supply 40 AN/ZPY-1 STARLite wide area surveillance radars with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and ground moving target indicator (GMTI) capabilities for the MQ-1C UAV.
The MQ-1C UAV from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. in San Diego, is a variant of the Predator UAV, and provides the Army with a long-endurance, persistent surveillance and tactical strike capability featuring a heavy-fuel engine.
The AN/ZPY-1 STARLite, meanwhile, is a small, lightweight tactical radar for mission critical tactical reconnaissance, including all-weather, wide area surveillance; and stationary and moving target detection. The STARLite weighs 65 pounds, occupies 1.2 cubic feet, and requires less than 750 Watts of power.
Northrop Grumman will deliver the STARLite radar to the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) at Fort Monmouth, N.J., beginning in March 2011 and conclude in March 2012.
Each STARLite radar comes with a software package for interfacing with the U.S. Army systems, enabling operator control of the SAR maps and ground moving target detection features on standard Army maps.