Northland Aerospace Receives Bat Unmanned Aircraft Systems From Northrop Grumman

Northland Community & Technical College received a generous donation from Northrop Grumman as part of a collaborative agreement. The agreement brought two different Bat unmanned aircraft system platforms and all accompanying equipment to Northland Aerospace to be used as training aids for students.

The Bat UAS is a medium altitude, multi-mission unmanned aircraft system that is runway-independent and fully autonomous. It’s designed to launch from a pneumatic/hydraulic rail launcher and recover into a net recovery system. The Bat has a 12 to 14 foot wingspan. This adds a unique aspect to the growing fleet of UAS at Northland Aerospace for students to work and train on. This will be the first rail launch and net recovery system to be donated to Northland Aerospace.

Designed for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), the Bat will allow NCTC students to work on the entire platform of both types of the Bat that NCTC received from Northrop Grumman. This means that engine runs, advanced diagnostics, complete teardowns, launcher maintenance, and rebuilds will all be possible for students. The agreement brought 13 Bat airframes (7 Bat 12’s, 2 Bat 12+2’s, and 4 R-Bats) and multiple launchers to the school.

Not including small UAS (sUAS), this brings the fleet of UAS at NCTC to 15. “Having this new equipment is a game changer for us,” said UAS instructor Zack Nicklin. “All of these systems will help to better prepare our students to enter the workforce in an industry in which we continue to see an increased demand for highly skilled technicians.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony & Open House

Northland Aerospace will host the Northland Aerospace Ribbon Cutting Ceremony & Open House on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event, located at the Aerospace Site of Northland Community & Technical College, will provide an opportunity to see the newly remodeled area and new Bat UAS and equipment donated by Northrop Grumman. Northland’s Aerospace Site is located at the Thief River Falls Regional Airport.

Northland Community and Technical College (Northland) is a comprehensive college with campuses in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, and East Grand Forks, Minnesota. Northland also has an aerospace site in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, and a satellite site in Roseau, Minnesota. Northland offers certificates, diplomas, transfer courses, two-year degrees (A.A.S., A.S., A.A.) in more than 80 areas of study, workforce training and education programs. Northland is a member of Minnesota State, the third-largest system of two-year colleges and four-year universities in the United States, and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. For more information about Northland Community & Technical College, visit or call 1.800.959.6282.

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