The US Air Force and Northrop Grumman have completed a successful test flight of the Global Hawk AF-18.
The high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) flew for approximately two hours from Palmdale to Edwards Air Force Base in California.
Global Hawk program director Steve Amburgey explained that the next-generation UAS is equipped with an advanced, all-weather multi-platform radar technology insertion program (MP-RTIP) sensor.
"[The sensor] provides game-changing situational awareness for our warfighters with its unprecedented capability to detect, track and identify stationary and moving targets," said Amburgey.
According to Amburgey, Global Hawk's range, endurance and large payload capabilities are well suited to provide persistent surveillance of the enemy.
"Flying at altitudes up to 60,000 feet for more than 32 hours per sortie at speeds approaching 340 knots, the MP-RTIP-equipped Block 40 Global Hawk can persistently see through most type of weather, day or night."
??"As the world's first fully autonomous HALE UAS, Global Hawk is the platform of choice for a wide variety of sensors, foreign and domestic, meeting the global need for persistent ISR."