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Northrop Grumman Sandstorm


Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Trainer


United States | 2012



"The Northrop Grumman Sandstorm is offered as a budget trainer for the more expensive UAV systems such as Predator and Reaper."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 02/27/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
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.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Northrop Grumman Sandstorm Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Trainer.
Not Available.
Propulsion
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Northrop Grumman Sandstorm Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Trainer.
0
(UNMANNED)
Crew
7.9 ft
2.40 m
O/A Length
14.8 ft
(4.50 m)
O/A Width
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Northrop Grumman Sandstorm family line.
Sandstorm UAS - Base Series Designation
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Northrop Grumman Sandstorm. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 14 Units

Contractor(s): Unmanned Systems, Incorporated / Northrop Grumman - USA
National flag of the United States

[ United States (possible) ]
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Production Comparison
14
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
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TRAINING
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The Northrop Grumman Sandstorm Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Trainer appears in the following collections:
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