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Quest Kodiak gets makeover as low-cost surveillance plane

04-09-2012

Northrop Grumman is rolling out a relatively low cost way for law enforcement to get an extra set of eyes in the air with a modified Quest Kodiak single-engine turboprop. The plane will compete with other manned aerial surveillance aircraft like modified Pilatus PC-12s and King Airs, but at a much lower price point. Equipped with a wide-angle camera that can pick out motion and targets over a 16-square-mile area, as well as an infrared camera, radios and datalink communications, the plane will cost about $4 million, with a variety of equipment options available. That’s much less than similar aircraft on the market, and Northrop Grumman hopes it can expand its market to law enforcement agencies that wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford a larger plane. The 10-seat Kodiak, which is known for its short-field performance and ability to fly in and out of unimproved runways, normally costs up to $2 million, depending on options. Kodiak will continue to make the Air Claw variants at its Idaho facility, and then will send the aircraft to Northrop Grumman’s facility in Maryland to be equipped with surveillance gear.

http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/08/30/northropgrumman-planes-idINL2E8JTKJL20120830

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