Navy readies RQ-4 Global Hawk for maritime demo

Airframe will test concepts and technologies for broad area surveillance

Northrop Grumman Corp. will continue testing a maritime version of the Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system under a $29.7 million Navy contract.

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Under the contract, Northrop Grumman will furnish operations and maintenance services in support of the Navy Global Hawk Maritime Demonstration program, the Defense Department said July 23. Half of the work will be performed at unspecified overseas locations and the other half at Patuxent River, Md. and San Diego.

Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4 Global Hawk is a high-altitude, long endurance UAS. Northrop Grumman won a development contract for the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance UAS program in 2008. The program employs the Global Hawk airframe to test operational concepts and technologies.

The Global Hawk maritime derivative is equipped with the Multi-Function Active Sensor, a 360-degree radar capable of tracking and identifying ships.

The Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River is the contracting activity. The work is scheduled for completion in August.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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