Successful First Flight of Japan’s RQ-4B Global Hawk
Posted on 05 May 2021 and read 423 times
Northrop Grumman Corp
has successfully completed the first flight of Japan’s RQ-4B Global Hawk from Palmdale, California.
Jane Bishop, vice president and general manager of autonomous systems at Northrop Grumman, said: “The unarmed RQ-4B Global Hawk will provide Japan with on-demand intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information supporting the Japan Air Self-Defence Force’s missions of protecting borders, monitoring threats and providing humanitarian assistance in times of need.”
Global Hawk is said to be the only high-altitude long-endurance unmanned air vehicle (UAV) to deliver ‘near real-time on demand data’ round the clock. Once ‘fielded’, Global Hawk will integrate with other Japanese intelligence assets, including ground-based command and control units.
Northrop Grumman’s family of autonomous HALE (high-altitude long-endurance) systems, including Global Hawk, are a critical component of networked, global ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) collection for allied nations and mutual defence organisations around the world.
When Japan’s Global Hawk fleet is fully operational, it will be part of a growing list of allied nations operating high-altitude long-endurance UAVs. The USA, Australia, NATO and Korea will all be operating versions of this ‘surveillance asset’.