Firebird

The Firebird product line delivers a proven airframe with autonomous mission capability. Available in manned, autonomous and optionally piloted configurations, Firebird is designed to provide ISR payload and cockpit flexibility through truly open architecture and plug-and-play payload integration.

Firebird

Northrop Grumman's Firebird product line delivers a proven airframe with autonomous mission capability. Available in manned, autonomous and optionally piloted configurations, Firebird is designed to provide ISR payload and cockpit flexibility through truly open architecture and plug-and-play payload integration. The system's unique hardware- and software enable users to carry out a wide range of ISR missions for 30 plus hours at approximately 25,000 feet.

Mission Flexibility

Firebird's innovative architecture represent a new approach to delivering medium altitude ISR. Our technology enables true mission flexibility, allowing users to accomplish their mission through different pilot and payload configurations, whether for line-of-sight or beyond-line-of sight operations.

Why does Firebird have more payload flexibility? It's about the open architecture.

  • Open Mission Systems architecture enables rapid payload swap that can be completed in as little as 30 minutes
  • 45 cubic foot internal payload bay and external payload pods
  • Four hour swap between manned and autonomous configuration
  • Over two dozen sensors successfully tested on Firebird

Why is Firebird more mission effective? Firebird is multi-INT, not multi-platform.

  • Multi-sensor, mission ready with 5 payloads operating at once
  • On-board/off-board processing, with network attached storage
  • Flexible requirements based bandwidth management
  • Beyond line-of-sight communications
  • Ground station customized to customer needs – from a laptop to a trailer
  • First time integration of payloads can be ready to fly within 60 minutes

Why does Firebird have a lower total operating cost? Firebird brings operational efficiency by design.

  • One aircraft completing manned and autonomous missions, with common pilots, sensor operators and maintenance crew
  • Low acquisition cost and support requirements
  • Unrivaled fuel efficiency decreases total cost and increases mission effectiveness by reducing field logistics

Mission Types
Overland and Littoral ISR
Homeland Security
Airborne Communications
Maritime Domain Awareness
Environmental and Scientific
Humanitarian Aid/Disaster Relief

General Specifications

Length 34.4 ft. (10.5 m)
Wingspan 79.2 ft. (24.1 m)
Height 10.6 ft. (3.2 m)
Max Take-off Weight 7,100 lbs. (3,220 kg)
Propulsion 400 HP Lycoming Engine
Fuel Avgas
Hard Points 3 (L/R wing, 1 Centerline)

Performance

Endurance 30+ hrs.
Mission Payload 1,700+ lbs. (771 kg)
Ceiling 25,000 ft. MSL (7.6 km)
Typical Cruise Speed 135 KTAS at 20k ft. (6 km)
Communications LOS/BLOS

Join the Ecosystem

Northrop Grumman is looking for hardware and software partners to join the Firebird ecosystem and build on Firebird's existing foundation to expand capability and enable the system to complete new missions. Specific areas of interest include but aren't limited to:

  • EO/IR
  • AIS
  • ESM / SIGINT
  • Radar (Maritime, Air-to-Air, Air-to-Ground)
  • Communications
  • Tracking & Artificial Intelligence
  • Environmental & Scientific

If you are interested in joining the Ecosystem and getting your product onto Firebird,
please fill out and submit this form.


Firebird Experience

The flexibility of the Firebird extends through the ownership experience. To enable ownership flexibility, we are establishing a system to allow customers to speed the time from decision to delivery. Owning Firebird will come with not only the aircraft, but the option to create add-ons that can adapt to your needs, whether its different configurations, mission-specific payloads, scalable ground control stations, and even different product support packages. All of these offerings allow you to tailor the operational support and mission set of Firebird to meet your needs. For questions about owning and operating Firebird, please contact us.

Take the Firebird Customer Experience Survey >

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