Friedrichshafen/Nordholz - 31 October 2003 - EADS and Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) have successfully completed a series of demonstration flights of a U.S. Air Force RQ-4A Global Hawk high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) equipped with a EADS electronic intelligence (ELINT) sensor prototype.
The flights, conducted in late October from the German Navy's Nordholz Air Base near Cuxhaven, were the first HALE UAV flights to take place in German airspace. High-ranking international representatives of the German armed forces, government ministries and industry who viewed the demonstrations expressed confidence in the system's effectiveness and its ability to support the German Ministry of Defence's airborne wide-area surveillance requirements.
The flights also provided a positive framework for the German Ministry of Defence to move forward on developing and producing a European variant of Global Hawk called Euro Hawk(TM). Proposed by Northrop Grumman and EADS as a solution for the ministry's HALE wide-area surveillance missions, Euro Hawk would be based on the model RQ-4B Global Hawk and carry an EADS-developed sensor package.
The Global Hawk UAV made several flights over the North Sea, each lasting several hours. Supported by the latest EADS ELINT sensor and associated exploitation ground segment, Global Hawk was able to detect and identify electromagnetic signals from a variety of sources, including air defence radars. Preliminary evaluations indicated that the EADS ground station successfully processed in near-real time the sensor data transmitted by a data link, and identified the detected emitters accurately. The ground station also controlled the on-board sensor system according to the Euro Hawk(TM) system requirements.
"This successful flight test program not only validates the robustness and performance of the Global Hawk system, but also demonstrates the powerful shared capabilities and interoperability among a variety of systems that can result from cooperation between U.S. and German defense industries," said Martin E. Dandridge, executive vice president for Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector and general manager of the sector's Unmanned Systems business unit. "Northrop Grumman and EADS are well suited to provide this critical surveillance solution for the German Ministry of Defence."
"With this pre-Euro Hawk(TM) demonstration, we show once more that industry is ready to accept risks and to invest financial resources to offer military customers tailor-made system solutions within the framework of the German forces' new procurement process," said Tom Enders, member of the EADS executive committee and chief executive officer of the EADS Defence & Security Systems division. "We are also confident that we have taken a step forward for the procurement of the future German signal intelligence system, and that Euro Hawk(TM) will be the core element in that networked information system."
EADS and Northrop Grumman initiated the transatlantic Euro Hawk(TM) project in 2000 with the goal of developing an unmanned wide-area surveillance and reconnaissance system that would bring together the companies' respective expertise in UAV and sensor technology. Euro Hawk would also take advantage of the companies' internally funded developments.
A bilateral project agreement between the U.S. Air Force and the German Ministry of Defence signed in October 2001 included the operation of the HALE UAV concept, sensor integration and the Nordholz flight demonstration program in the Euro Hawk development.
With revenues amounting to 30 billion (2002) and more than 100,000 employees, EADS is the largest aerospace and defense company in Europe and number two worldwide. EADS business comprises a wide experience on system integration for Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance systems, general command, control and communications, commercial and military aircraft, helicopters, commercial launch vehicles, missile systems as well as satellites.
Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems is a premier aerospace and defense systems integration enterprise. Headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., the sector designs, develops, produces and supports network-enabled integrated systems and subsystems for government and civil customers worldwide. Integrated Systems delivers best-value solutions, products and services that support military missions in the areas of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; battle management command and control and integrated strike warfare.
CONTACT: Lothar Belz EADS: Phone +49-731-392-3681 firstname.lastname@example.org. Cynthia Curiel Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems Phone +1 (858) 618-4355 email@example.com