The MQ-4C Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) is a key component of the Navy’s future Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force. Its persistent sensor dwell, combined with networked sensors, will enable it to effectively meet ISR requirements in support of the Navy’s Maritime Strategy. The MQ-4C BAMS UAS will support a wide range of military
operations such as maritime surveillance, intelligence preparation of the operational environment, battle damage assessment, and targeting for maritime and littoral strike. The processing, exploitation and dissemination architecture will allow tactical level data analysis in real-time at shore-based mission control sites connected to the aircraft, as well as additional intelligence exploitation conducted at shore-based analysis sites, aircraft carriers and other ships in the sea base. The MQ-4C BAMS UAS will enhance battlespace awareness, shortening the sensor-to-shooter kill chain for joint forces and fleet commanders.
A single MQ-4C BAMS UAS orbit consists of four aircraft, a Mission Control System (with an embedded Mission System Trainer), Launch and Recovery Element and associated communication and maintenance support equipment. The aircraft will launch from OCONUS and CONUS Forward Operating Bases (FOB) and mission control will be executed from CONUS-based Main Operating
Bases (MOB) once airborne. BAMS will provide near worldwide coverage through a network of airborne orbits operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
BAMS operations are being shaped by lessons learned from ongoing BAMS Demonstration (BAMS-D) missions in the Fifth Fleet area of responsibility. BAMS-D is a modified Air Force RQ-4A Global Hawk airframe, which will fly for Naval Forces U.S. Central Command/Fifth Fleet until the first BAMS orbit is established in late 2015. The BAMS airframe adds anti-icing, upgraded wings, 360-degree sensor coverage to Global Hawk and BAMS-D. It will be a highly capable multi-intelligence platform, combining electrooptical, infrared, radar, automatic identification system and electronic warfare sensors to provide enhanced detection, classification, tracking, and identification of maritime targets. A communications relay capability to provide assured communications in antiaccess/
area denial scenarios is also envisioned for the future.
The MQ-4C BAMS UAS is manufactured and assembled at the Northrop Grumman Corp. (NGC) Moss Point, Miss., and NGC Palmdale, Calif., facilities. First aircraft rollout occurred June 14, 2012, with first flight planned for later in the year. Current program schedule and proposed aircraft procurement rates support an Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in December 2015 and Full Operational Capability (FOC) in 2020.
MQ-4C BAMS UAS will provide persistent maritime and littoral ISR to fleet commanders.
MQ-4C BAMS UAS will enhance battlespace awareness and shorten the sensor-to-shooter kill chain for joint forces and fleet commanders.
MQ-4C BAMS UAS will achieve IOC in December 2015.
MQ-4C BAMS UAS leverages previous investments in the NGC Global Hawk Block 20 modified to meet the Navy’s maritime requirement.
BAMS will launch from FOBs and will be controlled from MOBs.
At FOC, multiple orbits will be established supporting Navy fleet commanders.