The German Air Force has unveiled its first high-altitude unmanned aircraft system (UAS), Euro Hawk, at Manching Air Base, Germany.

The Euro Hawk is based on the RQ-4 Global Hawk high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) UAS and is the first international configuration of the UAS.

The Hawk is equipped with the Cassidian-developed signals intelligence (SIGINT) mission system to detect electronic and communications emitters.

The first HALE SIGINT UAS features a larger wingspan, endurance of 30 hours and a maximum altitude of more than 60,000ft.

The aircraft system will replace the fleet of manned Breguet Atlantic aircraft and will support Nato, EU and UN operations.

Delivery of the first Euro Hawk demonstrator is scheduled for mid-2012, with another four systems temporarily scheduled between 2015 and 2016.