The Euro Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS), an international configuration of the RQ-4 Global Hawk built by Northrop Grumman and EADS Defence & Security, completed its first flight June 29.
It took off at approximately 10:32 a.m. PDT from Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, Calif., manufacturing facility and climbed to 32,000 feet before landing nearly two hours later at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
Based on the Block 20 Global Hawk, Euro Hawk will be equipped with a new signals intelligence (SIGINT) mission system developed by EADS Defence & Security, providing standoff capability to detect electronic and communications emitters. A ground station consisting of a mission control and launch and recovery elements will be provided by Northrop Grumman. EADS Defence & Security will also provide a SIGINT ground station, which will receive and analyze the data from Euro Hawk as part of an integrated system solution.
The German Ministry of Defence awarded a contract in 2007 to EuroHawk GmbH, a joint venture company of Northrop Grumman and EADS Defense & Security, for the development, test and support of the Euro Hawk SIGINT surveillance and reconnaissance system. Under this contract, EuroHawk GmbH will also provide aircraft modifications, mission control and launch and recovery ground segments, flight test and logistics support.