Northrop Grumman successfully flew the first in new series of Bat unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in January.

The new configuration of the UAS, powered by a Hirth engine, has a 12ft wingspan and a low acoustic signature five-blade propeller.

Bat provides real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, communications relay and future capabilities in a modular system and is suited to use in an irregular warfare environment.

The UAS has been integrated and tested with new payloads and systems including a T2 Delta dual payload micro-gimbal, Kestral real-time moving target indicator and short-wave infrared camera.

During recent tests, a 12ft and a 10ft-wingspan Bat were launched from an AAI Shadow UAS launcher and autonomously operated from a single ground control station.

Northrop acquired the Bat product line from Swift Engineering in April 2009.