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Northrop, Yamaha Team on Unmanned Helicopter

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Northrop Grumman, Yamaha Motor, U.S.A., Collaborate On Unmanned Helicopter System

(Source: Northrop Grumman Corp.; issued May 8, 2014)


Northrop Grumman and Yamaha have teamed to market a new unmanned helicopter, the Rotary Bat, which combines a proven airframe produced by Yamaha, with the latest autonomous control and intelligence-gathering technologies. (NGC photo)


SAN DIEGO --- Northrop Grumman Corporation and Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., 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 a proven 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. "Yamaha Motor's lineage of reliable products speaks to the strength of R-Bat as a new member of our proven unmanned system portfolio."

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.

"Yamaha Motor has produced remotely-piloted unmanned helicopters for over 25 years," said Toshizumi Kato, president, Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A. "Northrop Grumman's merging of our efficient and affordable aircraft with their expertise in autonomous control systems will deliver a unique capability to their Bat UAS portfolio."


Yamaha Motor is a global leader in a wide range of recreational, commercial and industrial products, including remotely piloted helicopters. Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., is headquartered in Cypress, Calif., and operates facilities throughout the United States.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide.

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