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Friday, December 17, 2010

Euro Hawk Completes 30-Hour Flight

Euro Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) completed 30.3-hour flight over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., proving its long-range stamina, according to manufacturers Northrop Grumman and EADS Deutschland GmbH. The high-flying UAS took off Dec. 1 at 4:47 p.m. PST and landed Dec. 2 at approximately 10:59 p.m. PST.

"Soaring up to 60,000 feet, the Euro Hawk performed beautifully and has logged nearly 100 total flight hours since its maiden flight approximately five months ago," said Duke Dufresne, sector vice president and general manager of the Strike and Surveillance Systems Division for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector. "This flight not only demonstrated the aircraft's endurance capability, but it also enabled the team to collect crucial communications data points."

The Euro Hawk is the first international configuration of the RQ-4 Global Hawk high-altitude, long-endurance UAS. Based on the Block 20 configuration, the Euro Hawk will be equipped with a signals intelligence mission system developed by Cassidian, providing standoff capability to detect electronic and communications emitters.

Delivery of four subsequent systems is anticipated between 2015 and 2016 following successful testing and introduction in German operational service.

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