Moog Inc. announced that the company’s hardware played a critical role in a historic milestone in unmanned aviation by successfully launching and retrieving an X-61A Gremlins Air Vehicle (GAV) during the program’s fourth flight test event in October at the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. The Gremlins demonstration system flew three GAVs to conduct four individual flight sorties for a combined 6.7 hours of flight, including the 1.4-hour airborne recovery mission. The overarching goal of the Gremlins Program, managed by DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, is to demonstrate aerial launch and recovery of multiple low-cost, reusable, unmanned aerial systems (UASs).
Moog has been providing precision steering controls to weapons programs for 70 years and has been a leader in the transition from hydraulic and pneumatic actuation, to robust electromechanical actuation technologies. “Our development of application-specific systems over the last several decades has resulted in an extensive portfolio of flight-proven solutions,” said Mike Brunner, Moog Missile Systems Director. “In order to support the rapidly evolving needs of our warfighter, whenever possible we are shifting from the longer timelines associated with the traditional development of unique solutions, and instead, as an embedded teammate, work to fully leverage our proven solutions to bring low risk capabilities to our customers at a much faster pace.”
Moog’s electromechanical actuation systems provide precision motion control for several elements of the Gremlins demonstration system including GAV tail fin control, GAV wing deploy, and fin control for the attitude-controlled “Bullet” which is a key element in the recovery system. These actuation systems have been developed in a highly collaborative environment with Dynetics to achieve the rapid integration and flight test schedule that is expected for DARPA programs. The solutions leverage previously flight-qualified elements and commercial off the shelf (COTS) components striking a unique balance between reliability and cost that is essential to all successful programs. The electromechanical actuation system design allows for multiple sorties, enabling Dynetics to meet the critical goal of 24-hour refurbishment for return to flight.
Dynetics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Leidos, provides responsive, cost-effective engineering, scientific, IT solutions to the national security, cybersecurity, space, and critical infrastructure sectors. Our portfolio features highly specialized technical services and a range of software and hardware products, including components, subsystems, and complex end-to-end systems. The company of more than 3,000 employees is based in Huntsville, Ala., and has offices throughout the U.S.
Moog Inc. is a worldwide designer, manufacturer, and integrator of precision control components and systems. Moog’s high-performance systems control military and commercial aircraft, satellites, and space vehicles, launch vehicles, missiles, automated industrial machinery, and marine and medical equipment. Additional information about the company can be found at www.moog.com.