SAN DIEGO, June 23, 2010 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) high altitude RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned reconnaissance system's superior performance in war operations, supporting humanitarian missions and observing the Earth's changing climate, along with excellent progress in test and evaluation, have positioned the program well for this week's review by the Office of the Secretary of Defense's Defense Acquisition Board (DAB).
"Global Hawk is performing 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It's conducting combat and civil missions around the world, while at the same time the Air Force is putting it through test and evaluation paces here at home to vet the system for final production. Global Hawk is performing well in these tests," said Gary Ervin, corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "Its unprecedented performance proves its value to our customers every day with a 95% on-station record, low sustainment and operating costs and high value intelligence. Frankly, it outperforms any other high altitude intelligence, reconnaissance and intelligence system in theater today. It's in a class of its own."
Since 2001 when two concept demonstration aircraft were pressed into service following the 9/11 attacks, Global Hawk has continuously flown more than 1,665 combat sorties totaling 33,280 combat flight hours, collected over 606,000 images, averaging 15 hours on station per sortie and supported all operations in theater with an overall performance rating of more than 95%.
All this has been achieved with just four systems deployed in the Persian Gulf from a fleet of nine systems based at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., and at U.S. Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. The Air Force is currently conducting formal test and evaluation of two Global Hawk configurations designed to collect enhanced image and signals intelligence in the ongoing war against terror. Further, to meet an urgent operational need, the system will soon deploy with the ability to serve as a communications relay over the battlefield.
"With the current needs and demands for Global Hawk, Northrop Grumman and its industry team continue to execute the current program as expected by our customers, while answering new requests for Global Hawk support as quickly as possible and at the most economical cost to our customer," said George Guerra, vice president and program manager for Northrop Grumman's High Altitude, Long Endurance programs.
"We are committed to responding to customer requests for proposal within 60 days of receiving their request. We are doing everything in our power to expedite Global Hawk's enhanced capabilities to the warfighter. We understand their urgent need and we stand behind our commitment to meet their expectations," added Guerra. "Meeting customer demand is a hallmark of our company's stellar culture of performance. We recognize that our suppliers around the country are also a pivotal force in reaching that objective."
Finally, in addition to its support for war efforts, Global Hawk this year has flown humanitarian missions over Haiti following its devastating earthquake; conducted science missions over the North Pole for NASA and a derivative called Euro Hawk(TM) will soon begin flight tests at Edwards Air Force Base before deploying to Germany later this year for the German Ministry of Defence. This is again in addition to the testing the system is undergoing to complete initial operational test and evaluation requirements before it can officially enter production.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.
CONTACT: Cynthia Curiel Northrop Grumman Corporation (858) 618-4355 firstname.lastname@example.org