Monitoring and tracking surface ships on the open sea presents a unique challenge to the Navy. Something about how radar reacts to water conditions and other elements creates what’s called “sea clutter” and it seriously hampers the military’s ability to track smaller ships and vessels close to shore.
That problem may become a thing of the past with the introduction of Northrop Grumman’s new Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System (BAMS) monster high-flying drone that was unveiled yesterday in California.
At nearly 50-feet-long, with a wingspan of more than 130-feet the BAMS is not terribly different than Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk, but what it has that the problem plagued Hawk does not, is a new set of sensors and 360-degree Multi-Function Active Sensor (MFAS) radar.
That radar is what the Navy is banking on to allow them to track whatever they want, from 11 miles up, and for up to 30 hours at a time.
Photo: Northrop Grumman
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