NORDHOLZ, Germany, Oct. 15, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- A U.S. Air Force RQ-4A Global Hawk unmanned air vehicle (UAV) landed in Germany today to begin a key flight demonstration program for the German Ministry of Defense (MoD).
Equipped with an EADS-produced electronic intelligence (ELINT) sensor, the Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC)-produced UAV touched down at the German navy's Nordholz Air Base near Cuxhaven at approximately 04:05 local time. The arrival followed a 20-hour, 53-minute flight across the Atlantic from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
Over the next three weeks, a test team from EADS, Northrop Grumman and the Air Force will conduct several flights of the ELINT-sensor-equipped UAV to demonstrate the technical feasibility of using UAVs to perform high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) wide-area surveillance (WAS) missions. A successful test program could lead to a decision by the German MoD to develop and produce a Global Hawk-derived sensor platform called Euro Hawk(TM)to satisfy its HALE WAS mission requirements.
Proposed by Northrop Grumman and EADS as a HALE WAS solution, Euro Hawk(TM) will be based on the RQ-4B model Global Hawk and will carry an EADS-developed sensor package. The German MoD currently uses conventional manned platforms to perform ELINT missions.
Prior to its deployment to Nordholz, the EADS ELINT-sensor-equipped Global Hawk performed several successful test flights in the U.S. EADS developed the ELINT sensor as a company-funded project.
The arrival of Global Hawk represents the latest milestone in a trans-Atlantic cooperative project between the German MoD and the Air Force that began in October 2001. The goals of the bilateral project are to introduce a UAV to European-controlled airspace and demonstrate how UAVs can be used to conduct HALE WAS missions. The agreement includes operation of the HALE air vehicle, ELINT sensor integration and the flight demonstration program.
EADS is a leading aerospace and defence company, with a turnover of 30.8 billion Euros in 2001, making it the second largest company of this industry. The company employs more than 100,000 people and ranks among the market leaders in defence technology, commercial aircraft, helicopters, space technology, military transport and combat aircraft, as well as the associated services.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $25 billion global defense company, headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. The company provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in systems integration, defense electronics, information technology, advanced aircraft, shipbuilding and space technology. It also serves a wide variety of U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers with approximately 120,000 employees and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries.
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