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.


 
 

 
LM-F35-hours

F-35 fleet surpasses 15,000 flying hours

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fleet recently surpassed 15,000 flight hours, marking a major milestone for the program.  “Flying 15,000 hours itself demonstrates that the program is maturing, but what I think is e...
 
 

Raytheon awarded first international contract for Paveway IV

Raytheon has received a contract from an international customer for Pavewayô IV precision guided bombs valued at more than $200 million. As part of the sale Raytheon will deliver hundreds of the advanced munitions, which are regarded as the ‘weapon of choice’ for the Royal Air Force. The contract represents the first sale of Pavewayô...
 
 
Northrop Grumman photograph

Northrop Grumman dedicates Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence in Florida

Northrop Grumman photograph Tom Vice, corporate vice president and president, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, addresses the media with, from left, Florida State Sen. John Thrasher, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, U.S. Rep. Ron DeS...
 

 

Lockheed Martin GMLRS alternative warhead logs successful flight test series, shifts to next testing phase

Lockheed Martin successfully conducted the fifth and final Production Qualification Test for the new Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Alternative Warhead recently at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. During the long-range test, four rockets were fired from a HIMARS launcher and destroyed their respective targets approximately 65 kilometers away. The test is the final milestone...
 
 

Forecast International expects UAV market to rise strongly through next decade

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan sent unmanned aerial vehicle production to record heights, but with the last U.S. military troops in Afghanistan slated to depart the country this year, the Pentagon’s demand for unmanned air vehicles is slackening. However, while fewer UAVs are expected to roll off the production lines from 2014 to 2023,...
 
 
sikorsky-china

China certifies Sikorsky S-76D™ helicopter

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. announced April 15 that the Civil Aviation Administration of China has issued a validation type certificate for the S-76D™ aircraft, allowing Sikorsky to begin delivering the commercial helicopter  to...
 




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>