Military Factory logo
Icon of a dollar sign
Icon of military officer saluting
Icon of F-15 Eagle military combat fighter aircraft
Icon of Abrams Main Battle Tank
Icon of AK-47 assault rifle
Icon of navy warships

Northrop Grumman Sandstorm

Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Trainer

Northrop Grumman Sandstorm

Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Trainer

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



The Northrop Grumman Sandstorm is offered as a budget trainer for the more expensive UAV systems such as Predator and Reaper.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United States
YEAR: 2012
STATUS: Active, Limited Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Unmanned Systems, Incorporated / Northrop Grumman - USA
PRODUCTION: 14
OPERATORS: United States (possible)
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Northrop Grumman Sandstorm model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 0
LENGTH: 7.87 feet (2.4 meters)
WIDTH: 14.76 feet (4.5 meters)
ENGINE: Not Available.




ARMAMENT



None.
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• Sandstorm UAS - Base Series Designation


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Northrop Grumman Sandstorm Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Trainer.  Entry last updated on 2/21/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
Northrop Grumman heads the "Sandstorm/Longshot" unmanned aerial system (UAS) program developed by Unmanned Systems, Incorporated of Montana. The program consists of the Sandstorm UAS and the Longshot internet-based software suite intended to provide the US Air Force (or any UAV operator for that matter) with a cost-conscious training alternative to using full-sized (and expensive) operational UAVs. Since most of UAV accidents occur during take-off or recovery, and sponsored by the a satellite-based control system (leading to over-compensation on the part of student pilots), the Sandstorm has been designed with low-cost training in mind.

The Sandstorm has been specifically developed to mimic a variety of UAV types to date (2012). Students, overseen by an instructor, can connect to the UAV using broadband and controls are tailored to replicate that of the Predator/Reaper types quite closely. A single Sandstorm UAV costs approximately $100,000 compared to the millions required of a single Predator or Reaper. Add to that the cost of operation, maintenance and repairs of these systems including accident costs and the price tag balloons aggressively over the course of a fiscal year. Northrop Grumman states savings per year to the USAF in the millions of dollars per year range if the Sandstorm/Longshot product is utilized to full effect. The internet-based connection of the Longshot software allows for students to control the UAS from anywhere in the world without the inherent delay of satellite connections.




Design of the Sandstorm UAV itself is traditional with low-set, swept monoplane wings, a well-contoured fuselage and wheeled tricycle undercarriage. The aircraft is conventionally powered by an engine buried in the aft portion of the fuselage and driving a three-bladed propeller in a "pusher" configuration. Avionics are held in the forward bulge while optics are mounted in a chin fairing. An air inlet is noted along the aft spine section of the design while vertical tail fins consist of a pair of outward canted rudders along the dorsal side and a single vertical tail fin on the ventral side. Wingspan is 15 feet with a running length of 8 feet, dimensions far less than that of a full-sized Predator or Reaper drone - which means less in the way of ground personnel to help manage the airframe and lower procurement costs.




MEDIA







Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
14
14

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.