SAN DIEGO, Aug. 1, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- The U.S. Air Force has again recognized a combined Air Force/Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) maintenance team for its support of a Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle deployed as part of the global war on terrorism. The team was named "Maintenance Team of the Month" in April and May.
During these two months, 94 percent of the missions completed by this Global Hawk and the maintenance team were successful, according to the Air Force. To be considered successful, a mission must meet 80 percent of the precise, pre-planned reconnaissance requirements set by the Air Force.
The Air Force praised the maintenance team for its diligent work when the Global Hawk had to make an unscheduled landing because of an engine problem. The team immediately moved to that location to make repairs. The Global Hawk was back in the air within 72 hours to resume its missions. Original estimates for this task were three weeks minimum.
"The goal of our team on the battlefield and our Northrop Grumman team in the United States was to get our system back in the fight as quickly as possible," commented Avis Anderson, Northrop Grumman's deployment-team leader. "We needed the entire team to complete the task, and we take pride in knowing the Global Hawk helps our men and women in uniform accomplish their missions."
The team was recognized in April for supporting the rigorous operational launch and recovery schedule. It also completed a nose-gear change out and vehicle inspection, and relocated the launch and recovery element.
The members of the maintenance team, which include subcontractors, volunteer for the job to support the operational deployment of this Global Hawk-prototype system. The system was built to prove the viability of the concept of a high-altitude, long-endurance autonomous unmanned air vehicle, not to sustain a rigorous combat schedule.
Through three deployments, the prototype aircraft have successfully completed more than 200 missions and more than 4,300 combat flight hours.
Global Hawk flies autonomously at an altitude of at least 60,000 feet, well above inclement weather and prevailing winds for more than 32 hours at an average of 320 knots. During a single mission, it can travel up to 10,000 nautical miles from its take-off location, and it provides detailed image-based intelligence on 40,000 square miles.
Northrop Grumman is the leading producer of unmanned systems for the U.S. military with a portfolio that spans a broad spectrum of capabilities. Current systems in service, production or development include the Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk and U.S. Army RQ-5 Hunter unmanned reconnaissance systems; the BQM-34 and BQM-74 aerial targets; the RQ-8 Fire Scout vertical take-off and landing tactical unmanned aerial vehicle in low-rate initial production for the U.S. Navy and for U.S. Army Future Combat Systems Class IV unmanned air vehicle program; the multi-role Hunter II proposed for the Army's extended-range, multi-purpose unmanned aerial vehicle program; and the X-47 Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Air Force and Navy; and advanced systems like the KillerBee program being developed for low-altitude, long endurance missions.
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 cellular firstname.lastname@example.org