Receive our newsletter – data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. News
December 22, 2020

Global Hawk GSMP completes first flight at USAF’s Edwards AFB

Northrop Grumman has conducted the RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system’s (UAS) first flight using the new modernised ground station.

Northrop Grumman has conducted the RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system’s (UAS) first flight using the new modernised ground station.

The flight was carried out at Edwards Air Force Base in California, US.

The new capability is being delivered under the Global Hawk ground station modernisation programme (GSMP).

Global Hawk provides persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) information, gather near-real-time, high-resolution imagery of large land areas and offers air and ground users with communications relay support.

It belongs to the US Air Force’s (USAF) fleet of advanced high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) autonomous systems.

Northrop Grumman Global Hawk vice-president Leslie Smith said: “Global Hawk is a critical asset that delivers vital data to US forces and allies 24/7/365.

Content from our partners
Bespoke harsh environment connector solutions set Omnetics apart from competitors
Growing opportunities for Unmanned Aerial Systems
Keeping the defence world connected with Smiths Interconnect

“New, modern ground stations for Global Hawk will significantly improve the system and allow operators to more efficiently deliver timely ISR data to warfighters and connect the joint force through its global communications node mission.”

The new ground station acts as the main interface between pilots, sensor operators and the UAS.

It features an open architecture design, new cockpit displays, simpler maintenance interfaces, and will offer enhanced situational awareness to operators.

Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Global Hawk System Programme director colonel William Collins said: “Not only will it allow the operators to conduct their missions from an enhanced, building-based control element, it will deliver critical Diminished Manufacturing Sources solutions and system security enhancements that will ensure this vital capability continues to be secure from cyber threats.”

In October, Northrop Grumman commenced the construction process for Australia’s first MQ-4C Triton, an unmanned maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft.

Related Companies

NEWSLETTER Sign up Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. The top stories of the day delivered to you every weekday. A weekly roundup of the latest news and analysis, sent every Monday. The defence industry's most comprehensive news and information delivered every month.
I consent to GlobalData UK Limited collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy