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Global Hawk ready to meet challenges of multiple missions

17th June 2009 - 10:40 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


While other unmanned reconnaissance aircraft fill a specific niche in the military, the versatility of Northrop Grumman's RQ-4 Global Hawk in adapting its unique attributes to multiple national security missions will be a key display at this week's Paris Air Show.

Configured for diverse missions that vary from combat operations on land and sea to supporting civil authorities in disaster relief operations or global climate monitoring, the Global Hawk is attracting increasing interest for its ability to meet many needs. Considered a strategic system, Global Hawk operates with the fidelity and flexibility of a tactical platform at less than half the operating costs of similar manned systems.

Multiple versions of this premier high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft system (UAS) will be on display in Paris during the event.

'The Global Hawk stands alone among unmanned aerial systems for its ability to fly at altitudes up to 60,000 ft for more than 32 hours of endurance,' said George Guerra, Northrop Grumman VP of high-altitude long-endurance systems. 'Providing these unique capabilities enables Global Hawk customers to perform missions that are critical for their needs and operate in areas where they could not go previously.'

The RQ-4's unique attributes continue to attract attention with various military and government branches that are facing complex challenges today and need a system able to address their needs for constant intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data.

'We have over 60 years of unmanned systems experience and more types of unmanned systems than anyone else with proven success,' Guerra explained. 'Our long legacy of investing in leading edge technologies helps lower risks and costs to our customers.'

Northrop Grumman will roll out its first Block 40 Global Hawk UAS in a ceremony on 25 June 2009 at the company's Antelope Valley Manufacturing Center in Palmdale, CA.

'Our current and future customers are interested in Global Hawk as an ideal national security asset because it can be easily adapted to perform a wide array of military roles including the fight against piracy as well as a civilian role, such as response to natural disasters, bushfires, environmental monitoring, and drug interdiction,' Guerra noted.

Global Hawks were deployed in 2001 in support of overseas contingency operations and have logged more than 31,000 hours, of which approximately 24,000 were flown in support of combat.

The Shephard News Team


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