SAN DIEGO, Feb. 1, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) recently demonstrated the ability of a new integrated sensor suite to support high-altitude maritime surveillance missions by the RQ-4 Global Hawk Maritime Demonstration unmanned aerial system.
Northrop Grumman successfully tested the maritime software modes of the new sensors, which were designed and built by Raytheon Space & Airborne Systems, during three training flights over the Pacific Ocean.
"Surveillance over the ocean is much more difficult than over land, because you have a moving target, such as a ship, against a moving background, the ocean," said Bill Beck, Northrop Grumman's Global Hawk Maritime Demonstration program manager. "During test flights, we proved that from an altitude of 60,000 feet, Global Hawk can track a ship or pinpoint a buoy in various sea states."
During the test flights, the new sensors performed exactly as designed. They were available to the sensor operators for more than 98 percent of the flight, with few false target hits. The sensors' mode agility was also demonstrated successfully when the Global Hawk air vehicle flew back over land and operators were able to switch its sensors easily from their maritime modes to the over-land modes.
Global Hawk flies autonomously at an altitude of at least 60,000 feet, well above inclement weather and prevailing winds for more than 35 hours. During a single mission, it can travel more than 10,000 nautical miles from its take-off location, and it provides detailed image-based intelligence on 40,000 square miles, which is approximately the size of Illinois.
To date, deployed Global Hawks have flown more than 5,000 combat hours in more than 240 missions in support of the war on terrorism.
The Northrop Grumman-led Global Hawk industry team comprises U.S. and international companies. The unmanned system's primary program elements are provided by team members as follows:
-- Integrated Sensor Suite, Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, El Segundo, Calif. -- Ground Station, Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems, Falls Church, Va. -- Engine, Rolls-Royce Corporation, Indianapolis -- Communication System, L-3 Communications, West, Salt Lake City -- Wing, Vought Aircraft Industries, Dallas -- V-Tail Assembly and other Composite Structures, Aurora Flight Sciences of West Virginia, Bridgeport, West Va.
Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems is a premier aerospace and defense systems integration organization. Headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., it designs, develops, produces and supports network-enabled integrated systems and subsystems optimized for use on networks. For its government and civil customers worldwide, Integrated Systems delivers best-value solutions, products and services that support military and homeland defense missions in the areas of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; space access; battle management command and control; and integrated strike warfare.
CONTACT: Revelle Anderson Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems (858) 618-4405 office (858) 205-7694 mobile firstname.lastname@example.org