Business

September 11, 2013

Northrop Grumman unmanned portfolio achieves 100,000 flight hours over last 15 years

Northrop Grumman’s fleet of high-altitude long-endurance unmanned aircraft surpassed the 100,000 flight hours mark Sept. 5 – a significant achievement for the combat-proven intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system.

Northrop Grumman’s portfolio of high-altitude long-endurance unmanned aircraft systems have achieved 100,000 flight hours ñ more than 88 percent of which were logged by the U.S. Air Force Global Hawk.
The remaining hours were flown by the NASA Global Hawks, the German EURO HAWK, and the U.S. Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstrator and, more recently, Triton UAS.

“U.S. Air Force Global Hawk is performing well and has contributed to the global intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission, flying approximately 75 percent of its total flight hours in combat to support six combatant commands,” said Col. Carlin Heimann, Global Hawk system program director for the U.S. Air Force. “The 100,000-hour milestone is a tribute to a great team that has supported combat operations for more than a decade.”

Global Hawk carries a variety of ISR sensor payloads that allow military commanders to gather near real-time imagery and use radar to detect moving or stationary targets on the ground. The system also provides airborne communications and information sharing capabilities to military units in harsh environments.

Northrop Grumman’s fleet of high-altitude long-endurance unmanned aircraft surpassed the 100,000 flight hours mark Sept. 5 – a significant achievement for the combat-proven intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system.

“Global Hawk flew for the first time in 1998 and was used by the Air Force for surveillance missions over Afghanistan just three years later,” said George Guerra, Northrop Grumman’s vice president for Global Hawk UAS. “Global Hawk has been used continuously by the Air Force since that time. The system has also supported disaster response efforts, science studies conducted by NASA and is the foundation of our new HALE Enterprise.”

Combined with Global Hawk’s ability to fly for more than 30 hours, the aircraft can fly almost half the circumference of the world without refueling, making the system ideally suited to take on many different ISR missions.

Global Hawk has been used over many battlefields including Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. The UAS has also supported reconnaissance and disaster response efforts following the devastating earthquakes that struck Haiti and Japan. In 2007, Global Hawk was used to cue firefighters about hotspots during the rapidly moving wildfires in Southern California.

The system holds a number of long-endurance flight world records. In 2001, Global Hawk set an official record for the longest flight by a UAS at 30 hours, 24 minutes, 1 second. That same year, Global Hawk became the only UAS to fly nonstop across the Pacific Ocean from Southern California to Australia. Since then, Global Hawks have routinely flown longer and farther. In 2008, a Global Hawk Block 20 flew for 33.1 hours ñ the longest mission logged to date.

Earlier this year, the Global Hawk program received the 2012 Dr. James G. Roche Sustainment Excellence Award for demonstrating the most improved performance in aircraft maintenance and logistics readiness. The prestigious award is named for the 20th secretary of the Air Force to promote maintenance excellence.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Raytheon acquires Tucson-based Sensintel, Inc.

Raytheon has acquired privately-held Sensintel, Inc., a leading provider of unmanned aircraft systems solutions to the intelligence and special operations markets. Located in Tucson, Ariz., with approximately 50 employees, Sensintel will become part of Raytheon Company’s Missile Systems business. The transaction is not expected to materially impact Raytheon’s sales or earnings in th...
 
 
Boeing photograph

Boeing Maritime Surveillance Aircraft ready for demonstration flights

Boeing photograph The Boeing Maritime Surveillance Aircraft program is ready for customer demonstration flights, having completed the baseline ground and flight testing of the aircraft mission systems. The Boeing Maritime Surve...
 
 

Pratt & Whitney concludes PurePowerÆ geared turbofan engine partnering

Pratt & Whitney and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. met recently to commemorate the signing of a risk and revenue-sharing collaboration agreement for KHI to provide key hardware modules for Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower Geared Turbofan engines. Pratt & Whitney is a division of United Technologies Corp. Pratt & Whitney currently has 10 worldwide GTF collaboration...
 

 

U.S. Navy approves F/A-18 Super Hornet IRST system for production

The F/A-18 Super Hornet infrared search and track system, developed and integrated by Boeing and Lockheed Martin, received approval from the U.S. Navy to enter low-rate initial production. The IRST system consists of Lockheed Martin’s IRST21 sensor, the GE Aviation FPU-13 Fuel Tank Assembly and the Meggitt Defense Industry Environmental Control unit. The system demonstrated...
 
 

DRS Technologies to upgrade electronic warfare E/A-18 mission for U.S., Australia

DRS Technologies Inc., a Finmeccanica Company,†announced Jan. 22 that it has been awarded access to an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the production and delivery of up to 180 Joint Tactical Terminal-Receivers for U.S. Navy and Australian EA-18G aircraft. The contract is valued up to $12 million and will include JTT-R production engineering, test set racks, fixtures...
 
 

DRS Technologies’ groundbreaking laser designating gimbal completes first flight test

DRS Technologies Inc., a Finmeccanica Company, announced Jan. 21 that it successfully performed the first airborne demonstration of its GS205-XRZ laser designating gimbal. At less than six inches in diameter and weighing less than nine pounds, the GS205 is one of the smallest stabilized, light-weight and fully qualified targeting systems on the market. During its...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>