The USAF Global Hawk unmanned aircraft programme will receive an interim repair capability for its integrated sensor suite (ISS) and the enhanced integrated sensor suite (EISS) from Northrop Grumman.

The interim repair line will be the first dedicated repair facility for Global Hawk to improve the availability of the critical ISS and EISS components to support increased operations.

Raytheon, in partnership with Northrop Grumman, is expected to provide the EISS imaging system for the Global Hawk block 20 and 30 systems.

With the ISS, the EISS will provide a 50% increase in range and resolution, and allow longer flight hours for block 30 Global Hawks than previously planned.

The interim capability will also provide an important bridge to a fully independent depot-level repair programme for the Global Hawk system.

The USAF is expected to begin operations of block 30 aircraft at Beale Air Force Base, California, this year.