Sat, Jun 27, 2009
Northrop Grumman Will Build 15 Of The UAV's
Corporation and the U.S. Air Force unveiled the next-generation of
high-flying unmanned aircraft - the RQ-4 Block 40 Global Hawk - in
a ceremony Thursday at Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, CA,
"This unveiling of the first of 15 Block 40 aircraft is a
significant step to fielding Global Hawk to Grand Forks Air Force
Base, North Dakota, in 2010 and reaffirms our excellent track
record of delivering Global Hawks since low rate production began,"
said Duke Dufresne, sector vice president for Northrop Grumman
Aerospace System's Strike and Surveillance Systems Division.
"Carrying an advanced, all-weather multi-platform radar technology
insertion program (MP-RTIP) sensor, the Block 40 aircraft will
provide game-changing situational awareness for our warfighters
with its unprecedented capability to detect, track and identify
stationary and moving targets."
Use of the MP-RTIP sensor on the Block 40 Global Hawks marks the
first time the active electronic scanned array (AESA) technology
has been used on a high-altitude unmanned aircraft. AESA technology
provides all-weather, day-night synthetic aperture radar mapping
and ground moving target indicator capability.
"The Global Hawk system is in high demand by joint warfighters
overseas, having successfully flown more than 31,000 hours since
2001," said Steve Amburgey, Global Hawk program director for the
303rd Aeronautical Systems Group at Wright-Patterson Air Force
Base, Ohio. "Congratulations to the entire Global Hawk team for
continuing to provide our service men and women with a reliable
intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) system."
Designated AF-18, this Block 40 aircraft was the 27th Global
Hawk built since the program's inception in 1995 and is scheduled
to begin flight testing next month.
"This magnificent aircraft represents the future of Grand Forks
Air Force Base. This and the rest of the Block 40 fleet will make
significant contributions to the safety and security of our nation
for years to come," said Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota. "I look
forward to seeing this airframe on the Grand Forks ramp next
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