Northrop Grumman Model 437 Loyal Wingman Combat Drone
Northrop Grumman has officially unveiled a new autonomous aircraft for the Air Force, called the Model 437. This unmanned “loyal wingman” hopes to aid them in the search for the next-generation of drones that could accompany manned planes into battle. This stealthy combat drone boasts a 3,000 mile range and is based on the Model 401, which is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-5D engine. Read more for additional pictures and a bonus video on military drones.

Northrop Grumman Model 437 Loyal Wingman Combat Drone
If equipped with the same engine as its predecessor, it should be able to achieve speeds of over Mach 0.8 (613 mph) and a top speed of Mach 0.85 (652 mph). The aircraft features 38-foot wingspan and a fuselage that also measures in at 38-feet in length. It’s capable of carrying approximately 4000 lb (1814 kg) of fuel, which is good for over 5-hours of flight time, and has a maximum take-off weight of 8,002 lb (3,630 kg). Most importantly, the Model 437 only needs a 3,000-foot stretch for takeoff, making it runway independent.

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Northrop Grumman Model 437 Loyal Wingman Combat Drone

We’re in a good position because of our capabilities that we have with our digital engineering [and] digital transformation. Adversaries are narrowing the technological advantage the U.S. and its allies have maintained. Using a family of systems approach is the most effective way to take on new threats,” said Richard Sullivan, vice president of program management at Northrop Grumman.

Bonus Video