Euro Hawk completes first full system test flight

Northrop Grumman and EADS Deutschland have completed the first full system test flight of the Euro Hawk unmanned aircraft system equipped with the signals intelligence advanced sensors for detection of radar and communication emitters, Northrop Grumman said Jan. 11. The EADS' defense unit Cassidian handled the project for the parent company. 

The aircraft was aloft for more than six hours during the test flight and reached a ceiling of 54,000 feet, Northrop Grumman said. Previously, the Euro Hawk completed extensive ground testing at Manching Air Base, Germany, receiving final approval from the German Airworthiness Authority to flight test the functionalities of the integrated SIGINT payload.

"The Cassidian-developed SIGINT sensor suite, conforming to the German Bundeswehr´s requirements, showed excellent performance within the perfect interplay of the overall system," said Bernhard Gerwert, CEO of Cassidian. "We, therefore, are proud to prove with these test flights the new Euro Hawk's mission capability of strategic SIGINT intelligence for the protection and security of the German armed forces."

Based on the RQ-4B Global Hawk HALE UAS, the Euro Hawk system includes a ground station consisting of a mission control and launch and recovery elements provided by Northrop Grumman. It is equipped with a new SIGINT mission system developed by Cassidian, providing standoff capability to detect electronic and communications emitters. The SIGINT ground station, which receives and analyzes the data from Euro Hawk as part of an integrated system solution, is also supplied by Cassidian.

With a wingspan larger than most commercial airliners, endurance of more than 30 hours and a maximum altitude of approximately 60,000 feet, Euro Hawk is an interoperable, modular and cost-effective next-generation replacement for the fleet of Germany's manned Breguet Atlantic aircraft.


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