Northrop Grumman's Euro Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) set an endurance record with a flight over Manching Air Base, Germany, last month that lasted 25.3 hours.
(The Euro Hawk, with a wingspan of 130.9 feet, flies over Germany's Manching Air Base. Photo, courtesy of Northrop Grumman.)
The Euro Hawk, produced by Northrop Grumman ISS International and Cassidian, reached 58,600 feet and flew nonstop without refueling.
"This is the longest flight flown in European skies by an un-refueled UAS in the more than 30,000-pound [14,600-kilogramme] class," said Rolf Wirtz, head of mission systems at Cassidian's UAS branch. "The EURO HAWK® has performed safely and reliably with good results throughout its entire flight test program. It is the only system that can meet Germany's requirement for high-altitude signals intelligence surveillance missions."
Northrop expects to finish flight testing the aircraft this month. The UAS is a replacement for the German Navy's retired fleet of manned Breguet Atlantic aircraft, which was in service between 1972 and 2010.
Related: Unmanned Systems News