PARIS AIR SHOW, Le BOURGET, France, June 18, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Integrated Systems sector and EADS said that the U.S. Air Force and German Ministry of Defense (MoD) are moving ahead with a fall 2003 demonstration of an EADS-designed electronic intelligence (ELINT) sensor onboard the Northrop Grumman-produced RQ-4A Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
The demonstration is a significant step in the evaluation of an unmanned solution for Germany's wide area surveillance requirements. It could lead to a possible, future development of a German-owned and -operated Global Hawk derivative -- the Euro Hawk.
The air vehicle is expected to depart for Germany in October. During its deployment, Global Hawk will fly up to four ELINT missions in precoordinated airspace in Germany above the North Sea.
The German MoD and the U.S. Air Force are conducting two initial flight tests this summer at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., to prepare for the demonstration. The Air Force will conduct the first test, called a functional check out, without the payload aboard to test air vehicle performance. The second flight will test system operations with the ELINT payload.
The Air Force flew two successful test flights last year on Nov. 17 and 22 to confirm sensor compatibility with Global Hawk. During the missions, the sensor was able, for the first time, to detect radar transmissions from emitters located at the Naval Air Warfare Center, China Lake, Calif. The transmissions were sent through a line-of-sight communications link to a temporary German ground support station located at the Air Force flight test center at Edwards Air Force Base. The sensor was manufactured by EADS, headquartered in Friedrichshafen/Ulm, Germany, and integrated by Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems' Unmanned Systems unit in San Diego, Calif.
If developed, Euro Hawk would replace the aging Breguet Atlantic SIGINT aircraft, a manned system that currently flies German signals intelligence missions, according to Air Force, German Federal (MoD) and aerospace industry program officials.
Since Oct. 19, 2001, an international team of Air Force, German MoD, Northrop Grumman and EADS officials has planned Global Hawk's deployment to demonstrate the interoperability of U.S.-German UAV systems. The team effort followed formal approval of a project agreement by Willard H. Mitchell, deputy undersecretary of the Air Force, and Rolf Schreiber, deputy national armament director (retired), air equipment and technology, German MoD.
The agreement focuses on joint development and integration of a German electronic intelligence payload on Global Hawk, exchange of flight certification information between the U.S. and Germany, and deployment of the UAV to Germany to prove the conceptual feasibility of its signals intelligence payload.
With revenues amounting to 30 billion Euro (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 leading position in Europe in the field of airborne defense electronics as well as a wide experience on system integration for Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR) systems, general command, control and communications, commercial and military aircraft, helicopters, commercial launch vehicles, missile systems as well as satellites.
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. With approximately 120,000 employees and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers. It is the prime contractor for the U.S. Air Force's RQ-4A Global Hawk high altitude, long endurance unmanned reconnaissance system, E-8C Joint STARS, E-10A MC2A and MP-RTIP radar programs.
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