REDONDO BEACH, CA—Northrop Grumman Corp. has been awarded a contract by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) Tactical Technology Office to design an autonomous vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) uncrewed aircraft system capable of operating from a moving U.S. Navy ship at sea.

The AdvaNced airCraft Infrastructure-Less Launch And RecoverY (ANCILLARY) demonstrator will be designed as a cost-efficient, multiple-mission capable vehicle built on an agile platform that is runway independent.

The battery-powered aircraft will be capable of carrying a large 60-pound sensor payload on missions of up to 100 nautical miles. It will have the capability to land on a ship in adverse weather conditions. Applications will include intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting missions.