Commercial, Military

Sensor-Equipped Global Hawk Completes Flight

By Tish Drake | July 27, 2011
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Photo courtesy Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman's RQ-4B Block 40 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) completed its first full system flight with the AN/ZPY-2 Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) sensor. The flight took place at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on July 21.

This is a first for a fleet of Block 40 Global Hawks that will be delivered to the UAS' main operating base at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D.

Flying at altitudes up to 60,000 feet for more than 32 hours per sortie at speeds approaching 340 knots, MP-RTIP-equipped Block 40 Global Hawk provides persistent coverage to see through all types of weather, day or night, according to Northrop Grumman.

"Since 2001 Global Hawk has provided critical resources to the warfighter, while accumulating more than 45,000 combat and humanitarian relief hours," said George Guerra, vice president, High Altitude Long Endurance Systems, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "The MP-RTIP-equipped Global Hawk is the natural evolution of the program's advanced technology in providing invaluable intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities for both military and domestic applications."

Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems is the prime contractor for the Global Hawk and MP-RTIP programs. Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems' Norwalk, Conn., facility is teamed with Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, El Segundo, Calif., to develop, produce and deliver the AN/ZPY-2 MP-RTIP radar.

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