Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines Military Pay Chart (2023) Military Ranks
Aviation / Aerospace

Northrop Grumman Jackal

Expendable Loitering Munition Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) [ 2024 ]

The Northrop Grumman Jackal was unveiled at a special forces conference in May 2022 as a jet-powered loitering munition solution.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 06/08/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The ongoing war in Ukraine has placed a global spotlight on the value of drones and, in particular, the "loitering munition" subgroup. These Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs) patrol the skies in search for ground targets of opportunity. The simplicity of the role, coupled with generally ease-of-operation in design, has allowed smaller global powers to develop indigenous solutions through local means - no longer making loitering munitions a tool of the superpower.

Northrop Grumman has teamed with the UAS experts at AeroVironment to development the man-portable "Jackal" loitering munition concept. Unlike other loitering munitions, typically driven by electric or combustion motors / engines driving propellers, the Jackal is powered by a turbojet engine to achieve excellent performance. The system can, therefore, reach straightline attack speeds of 300 miles-per-hour and has an operational range out to 60 miles, loitering over contested areas for fifteen minutes as it seeks and targets unsuspecting elements below.

The program began development in 2017 under the direction of the Armament Systems Division of Northrop Grumman out of Plymouth, Minnesota. It was unveiled at Special Operations Forces Industry Conference 2022 held in Florida during May 2022.

The aircraft is given a missile-like appearance with a tubular body, rounded nosecone, and twin-finned (outward-canted) tail unit. Mainplanes are affixed at midships and are low-mounted with down-turned tips. An air intake is set ahead of the tailplanes for the air-breathing turbojet unit.

While an attack platform at heart, the Jackal is being developed as a multirole over-battlefield solution through modularity. Beyond its ability to carry a 10 lb war head, the airframe is also able to accept special-mission equipment (such as jammers and sensors) in its place to better cover the traditional Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR) role.

For AeroVironment's part in the program, this advanced attack drone product is an evolution to its highly-regarded "Switchblade" line of expendable loitering munitions (detailed elsewhere on this site) coupled with the backing of American defense powerhouse Northrop Grumman.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Service Year

United States national flag graphic
United States

Program in Progress.

AeroVironment / Northrop Grumman - USA
(View other Aviaton-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of the United States United States (possible)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
Close-Air Support (CAS)
Developed to operate in close proximity to active ground elements by way of a broad array of air-to-ground ordnance and munitions options.
Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
Special Forces
Serving Special Forces / Special Operations elements and missions.
Unmanned Capability
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.

Mainplanes capped with winglets, providing improved fuel efficiency and enhanced handling.
Can accelerate to higher speeds than average aircraft of its time.
Can reach and operate at higher altitudes than average aircraft of its time.
Design features ability to fly sans pilot, actions controlled onboard through programming and / or ground-based operator.
Payload supports photographic equipment providing still and / or real-time image / video results.

monoplane / low-mounted / straight
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are low-mounted along the sides of the fuselage.
The planform involves use of basic, straight mainplane members.
(Structural descriptors pertain to the base Northrop Grumman Jackal production variant)
Installed: 1 x Turbojet engine of unknown make, model, and thrust output.
Max Speed
326 mph
(525 kph | 283 kts)
Cruise Speed
289 mph
(465 kph | 251 kts)
Max. Speed Diff
+37 mph
(+60 kph | 32 kts)
20,013 ft
(6,100 m | 4 mi)
62 mi
(100 km | 185 nm)

♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Northrop Grumman Jackal production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
10lb explosive impact-detonated warhead integrated into the airframe; can be replaced with special-mission equipment as needed.

Supported Types

(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 0

Jackal - Base Series Name.

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 Ukranian-Russian War
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

Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.

Images Gallery

1 / 1
Image of the Northrop Grumman Jackal
Image from Northrop Grumman.


Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2023 Military Pay Chart Military Ranks DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing military medals and ribbons.

View day-by-day actions of the American Civil War with CivilWarTimeline.net. View day-by-day actions of World War II with SecondWorldWarHistory.com.

©2023 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2023 (20yrs)