The Navy's Electronic-Warfare Planes Could Soon Become 'Motherships'

Northrop Grumman is trying to convince the U.S. Navy to transform the branch’s EA-18G Growler electronic-warfare planes into motherships for small, slow-flying unmanned aerial vehicles that could extend the distance at which Growler crews can pinpoint enemy radars.

The 12-foot-long “Dash X” drone fits inside the military’s Tactical Munition Dispenser. Deployed mid-flight and extending pop-out wings, the Dash X flies under its own power at a top speed of just 70 miles per hour. The drone carries an array of sensors and datalinks.