Northrop Grumman is developing a turbojet-powered loitering munition in association with AeroVironment, the company revealed at the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference exhibition in Tampa, Florida, last month.
The Jackal suicide drone is being developed to bridge the capability gap between the current propeller-driven suicide drones and the need for “tactical kinetic, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and electronic warfare missions” for an extended range, Janes revealed.
The drone can be launched from air and land platforms, flying up to 100 kilometers (62 miles) or 15 minutes at a maximum speed of 483 kilometers (300 miles) per hour. Its hovering time increases with shorter flight distances, and it can fly up to 185 kilometers (115 miles) at lower speeds.
The Jackal can operate day and night and in adverse weather conditions and is capable of targeting both stationary and moving targets.
The drone is equipped with a “sophisticated” two-way data link and an integrated dual electro-optic/infrared sensor.
Its scalable architecture can accommodate a range of payload weighing a maximum of 4.5 kilograms (10 pounds), consisting of “warhead, electronic warfare suite, or intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment.”