Northrop Grumman Corporation has announced that flight testing is under way for
the new Electro-Optical Surveillance and Detection System (EOSDS) intended for
the U.K. Ministry of Defence's NIMROD MRA-4 aircraft.
NIMROD MRA-4 is currently undergoing extensive flight trials for which BAE
Systems is the prime contractor. For its part in the ongoing two-year NIMROD
MRA-4 in-service reliability maintainability demonstration program, Northrop
Grumman's Defensive Systems Division is providing flight-test support to include
software development and flight test personnel training in addition to fielding
inquiries regarding the system.
EOSDS is a gimbal-mounted electro-optical system designed to give the Royal Air
Force the capability to observe and track targets of interest in the visible and
infra-red spectrums by means of both a television camera and two thermal-imaging
cameras. EOSDS has three detection modes and can automatically track targets
through nadir to allow continuous surveillance even when over-flying a target.
These flight tests mark the first production aircrafts to integrate and operate
the EOSDS systems during the NIMROD Flight Test Program. The purpose of the
initial flights was to assess the aerodynamic effects of the deployment and
retraction of EOSDS as well as to determine the impact of opening the bomb bay
doors of the NIMROD MRA-4. During these test flights to date, the system was
deployed at 5,000 feet and remained deployed up to 10,000 feet while flight
operators tested all three EOSDS sensors and examined the aerodynamic effect on
The first flights of the EOSDS system onboard the NIMROD MRA-4 aircraft were
accomplished through the combined efforts of the U.K. Ministry of Defence, Royal
Air Force, BAE Systems, the Boeing Company and Northrop Grumman's Defensive
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