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February 29, 2016

Northrop flight tests SYERS-2 sensor onboard RQ-4 Global Hawk capabilities

Northrop Grumman has successfully flight tested the US Air Force's (USAF) legacy SYERS-2 intelligence gathering sensor onboard RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) at its facility in Palmdale, California, US.

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Northrop Grumman has successfully flight tested the US Air Force’s (USAF) legacy SYERS-2 intelligence gathering sensor onboard RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) at its facility in Palmdale, California, US.

Northrop Grumman has successfully flight tested the US Air Force’s (USAF) legacy SYERS-2 intelligence gathering sensor onboard RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) at its facility in Palmdale, California, US.

The demonstration was carried out as part of a cooperative research and development agreement (CRDA).

Northrop Grumman Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system programmes vice-president and programme manager Mick Jaggers said: "This SYERS-2 flight is only the beginning.

"We firmly believe that with the addition of the universal payload adapter (UPA), Global Hawk is capable of flying any mission the USAF requires.

"Northrop Grumman is funding this study in order to prove that the system can affordably carry the same sensors as any other intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft.

"We look forward to continuing to work with our Air Force partners on this groundbreaking solution."

"We firmly believe that with the addition of the universal payload adapter (UPA), Global Hawk is capable of flying any mission the USAF requires."

Additionally, the company revealed plans to fly an Optical Bar Camera sensor and an MS-177 multi-spectral sensor later on the RQ-4 later this year.

The RQ-4 Global Hawk UAS is designed to provide field commanders with high-resolution, near real-time imagery of large geographic areas in support of military, humanitarian and environmental missions.

The remotely piloted UAS has been used by the USAF during wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, in addition to supporting intelligence gathering and reconnaissance efforts after the earthquakes in Haiti and Japan.

Currently, the USAF’s fleet of Global Hawk aircraft are capable of carrying an enhanced integrated sensor suite (EISS), airborne signals intelligence payload (ASIP) and Multi-Platform Radar Technology insertion programme (MP-RTIP).


Image: RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force / Bobbi Zapka.

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