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Japan's first Global Hawk makes maiden flight

22nd April 2021 - 20:00 GMT | by Noemi Distefano


RQ-4 Global Hawk aircraft. (Photo: US Army)

The delivery of the RQ-4B Global Hawk to Japan will equip the country with intelligence gathering and threat monitoring capabilities.

The first of three Northrop Grumman RQ-4B Global Hawks for Japan completed its maiden flight on 15 April 2021 from Palmdale, California. 

The HALE UAV can fly at altitudes of up to 60,000ft for more than 30 hours and it is designed to carry payloads for ISTAR operations.

 In an official statement, Northrop Grumman’s Vice President and General Manager Jane Bishop said: ‘The unarmed RQ-4B Global Hawk will provide Japan with on-demand intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information supporting the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s missions of protecting borders, monitoring threats and providing humanitarian assistance in times of need.’ 

 In 2015, the

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Noemi Distefano


Noemi Distefano

Noemi Distefano is Shephard Media's multimedia journalist. 

She joined the company in 2019, following a …

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