Northrop Grumman has completed the structural assembly of two Euro Hawk(r) unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for the German Air Force.

The Euro Hawk will serve as a high-altitude, long-endurance signals intelligence (SIGINT) system for the air force.

The UAS will be equipped with a new SIGINT mission system developed by European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) Defence & Security (DS) and will replace the air force’s aging fleet of Breguet Atlantic aircraft.

The SIGINT system on the aircraft will provide the capability to detect electronic intelligence radar and communications intelligence emitters.

The aircraft has been assembled with a wingspan larger than a commercial airliner and endurance projected at up to 30 hours.

Northrop Grumman Euro Hawk(r) programme director Jim Kohn said the Euro Hawk(r) will be launched in 2010 at the company’s facility in California after additional checkout and systems testing, followed by first flight and delivery in 2010 in Germany.

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Northrop has accomplished the assembling work in collaboration with EADS DS on this first Euro Hawk(r).