The US Air Force’s Aeronautical Systems Centre has recently finished the initial testing for the multiplatform radar technology insertion programme (MP-RTIP) sensor.
The sensor will to be fitted to the RQ-4 block 40 Global Hawk, a high-altitude long endurance unmanned aircraft system once testing is complete.
The radar system will equip the warfighter with advanced capabilities including the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and ground moving target indicator (GMTI ) modes.
The radar system level performance verification (RSLPV) programme has verified the system performance of the sensors on a proeteus test craft in both SAR and GMTI modes.
SAR imagery includes collection of high-resolution spot images, while GMTI focuses on moving ground targets.
The tests, conducted jointly by the USAF, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon, included examining software, controlling and operating the radars and ensuring the different modes were optimised to run on the developed hardware.
The sensors will allow the air force to detect targets in air, land or sea and then establish communications link.
The Global Hawk provides a broad spectrum of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability. It complements manned and space reconnaissance systems by offering near-real-time coverage using imagery intelligence sensors.
The MP-RTIP’s mode development will continue with additional focus on issues detected during government testing.
It will be further modified and recalibrated before being handed over to Global Hawk air force 18 — the service’s block 40 test bed.