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November 23, 2021

Northrop wins USAF contract to boost Global Hawk’s operational flexibility

The RQ-4B Global Hawk is a high-altitude, long-endurance UAV designed to provide high-resolution imagery of large geographic areas.

The US Air Force (USAF) has contracted Northrop Grumman for providing dynamic inflight rerouting for the RQ-4B Global Hawk uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV).

Referred to as Dynamic Mission Operations (DYNAMO), this software update is aimed at improving the UAV’s ability in providing critical intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) information to geographic combatant commanders.

The DYNAMO capability is designed to enable operators to respond to altering real-world conditions during a mission through the in-flight rerouting of Global Hawk.

Northrop Grumman autonomous systems vice-president and general manager Jane Bishop said: “DYNAMO is part of a series of Global Hawk modernisation efforts, including the Ground Station Modernization Program, that will reinforce the weapon system’s ability to monitor and deter near-peer and peer threats around the globe.

“These upgrades will make Global Hawk even more valuable in a future Joint-All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) environment.”

Northrop noted that the upgrade is scheduled to be fielded in 2023.

The company claimed that Global Hawk can provide data beyond its conventional strategic ISR mission by offering constant communications relay and secure processing.

The RQ-4B is a high-altitude, long-endurance UAV designed to provide high-resolution imagery of large geographic areas in near real-time for military field commanders.

In August, the USAF deployed RQ-4B Block 30 Global Hawk for Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) exercises.

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