Garmin has been selected, from a competitive list of GPS manufacturers, to supply Northrup Grumman's new Firebird with a state-of-the-art avionics suite. Garmin is a leading provider of OEM, aftermarket, military and government aviation solutions.
The Firebird, an optionally piloted vehicle (OPV), provides the option to be manned or remotely-piloted depending on the type of mission. A crossover between the traditional aircraft design and a UAV (unmanned aviation vehicle), the Firebird provides the best of both worlds.
This new aircraft will be able to simultaneously transmit HD full-motion video, infrared and radar information all while in-flight on an intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) mission. The cockpit will have three 14" HD multi-pane displays, effectively doubling the number of presentations controlled and viewed by the crew members.
The trio of widescreen displays will be accessible by both in-flight crew and the ground control station when the vehicle is unmanned. Garmin's Synthetic Vision Technology (SVT) will be onboard for enhanced situational awareness and hazard avoidance.
A production version of the Garmin-equipped Firebird made it's debut flight on November 12, 2012. The next step is for the aircraft to be delivered to an undisclosed customer for beta-testing and evaluation.