US: Northrop Grumman and Yamaha Motor have agreed to work together to develop and market an innovative small, unmanned autonomous helicopter system.
Called the Rotary Bat (R-Bat), the new system merges airframe produced by Yamaha with the latest autonomous control and intelligence-gathering technologies for use in urban environments for applications such as search and rescue, power line inspection and forest fire observation.
"The R-Bat joins our existing Bat family of unmanned aircraft systems [UAS] used for tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions," said George Vardoulakis, vice president for medium range tactical systems, Northrop Grumman.
The R-Bat is based on the Yamaha Motor RMAX remotely-piloted unmanned helicopter that is currently used for industrial and farming applications. With more than 2 million accumulated flight hours, the RMAX platform provides agricultural support services to more than 2.4 million acres of farmland in Japan each year.
Source: Northrop Grumman