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Global Hawk demos expanded SATCOM capability

4th April 2014 - 15:27 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


A US Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) has demonstrated its ability to use an additional Satellite Communications (SATCOM) link to improve the transfer of mission data. The aircraft has recently completed a series of ground and air tests at Beale Air Force Base to demonstrate the capability.

Northrop Grumman worked with the air force on the project, which was initiated at the request of the US Air Force Air Combat Command. The goal was to show that the Global Hawk is compatible with different SATCOM architectures with no changes to the aircraft's hardware, software or payload.

During the tests, conducted in January, the demonstration highlighted a unique split link capability for Global Hawk that allows it to send mission data through a satellite link that is independent of the link used for command and control.

Alfredo Ramirez, director and chief architect of Northrop Grumman's HALE Enterprise, said: ‘This powerful demonstration illustrates Global Hawk's unique versatility. We're ecstatic with Global Hawk's ability to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance products to operational end-users via multiple paths.’

Global Hawk carries a variety of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensor payloads to allow military commanders to gather near real-time images and uses radar to detect moving or stationary targets on the ground or at sea. The system has logged more than 110,000 flight hours in support of antiterrorism, antipiracy, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, airborne communications and information sharing missions.

The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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