15 Oct 03. The first landing of the Northrop Grumman “Global Hawk” high-altitude long endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle in Germany is a further milestone in transatlantic cooperation of EADS and Northrop Grumman.
The US Air Force (USAF) “Global Hawk” aircraft (RQ-4A) safely landed at the German Navy’s Nordholz Air Base (near Cuxhaven) early in the morning of the 15th of October, 2003 after taking off from Edwards Airforce Base (California) and crossing the USA and the Atlantic Ocean.
During the four-week deployment, up to five technical flight tests are to be conducted from Nordholz with an ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) reconnaissance sensor on board. The aim of this project dubbed “EuroHawk” is, on one hand, to show that ELINT tasks, which are traditionally carried out by manned aircraft can be successfully conducted using a high altitude long endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (HALE UAV) and, on the other, to introduce flight operations by a HALE UAV into European controlled airspace.
The transatlantic “EuroHawk” project was started as an industrial initiative in July 2000 between EADS and Northrop Grumman and approved by the U.S. and German Ministries of Defence who signed a bilateral Project Agreement in October 2001. This includes operation of the HALE aircraft concept, sensor integration and the flight demonstration program. For the demonstration of the ELINT sensor, which in the demo configuration has been developed by EADS using their own resources, is being tested and integrated into the USAF Global Hawk, built by Northrop Grumman. Following successful test flights in the USA, the sensor will for the first time have its effectiveness on board a UAV placed under scrutiny in German air space, during several demonstration flights to be conducted from Nordholz.