31 Oct 03. EADS and the Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) have successfully completed a series of demonstration flights of a U.S. Air Force RQ-4A Global Hawk high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) equipped with a Demo-Configuration of EADS’ newly developed ELINT sensor (ELINT = Electronic Intelligence). Supported by their two governments, the flights, conducted in late October from the German Navy’s Nordholz Air Base near Cuxhaven, were the first HALE UAV flights to take place in German airspace.
The Global Hawk UAV made several flights over the North Sea, each lasting several hours. Supported by the EADS ELINT sensor and associated exploitation ground segment, Global Hawk was able to detect and identify electromagnetic signals from a variety of sources, including air defense radars. Preliminary evaluations indicated that the EADS ground station successfully processed in near-real time the sensor data transmitted by two data links and identified the detected emitters accurately. The ground station also controlled the on-board sensor system according to the Euro HawkTM system requirements.
The aircraft maneuvers automatically on pre-programmed flight paths, at any time controllable from the mission control center on the ground, and is known to be extremely reliable. In August, it was the first unmanned air vehicle to receive a national Certificate of Authorization (COA) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly as a reconnaissance system in US airspace.
The transatlantic Euro HawkTM project has been initiated by EADS and Northrop Grumman. In July 2000, both companies signed an agreement to develop an unmanned wide-area surveillance and reconnaissance system by bringing together their respective expertise and company-funded developments in UAV and sensor technology. This cooperation initiated a bilateral project agreement between the U.S. Air Force and the German Ministry of Defense signed in October 2001. The first phase of the project includes the operation of the HALE UAV concept, the sensor integration, and the October 2003 flight demonstration program in Nordholz.
During the demonstration phase, numerous high-ranking international representatives of armed forces, government ministries and industry were convinced of the system’s effectiveness and the ability of the system to provide an Airborne-Wide Area Surveillance capability, in support of the German MoD requirements.
“This successful flight demonstration validates the robustness and performance of the Global Hawk system and demonstrates the powerful shared capabilities and interoperability among a variety of systems that will result from cooperation between U.S. and German defense industries,” said Martin E. Dandridge, executive vice president for Northrop Grumman’s Integrated Systems sector and general manager of the sector’s Unmanned Systems business unit. “Northrop Grumman and EADS are well suited to provide this critical surveillance solution for the German MoD.”
“With the Euro HawkTM demonstration, we show once more that industry is ready to accept risks and to invest financial resources in order to offer military customers tailor-made system solutions within the framework of the German Forces’ new procurement process. At the same time, we are also proud that EADS and Northrop Grumman team up in the Euro HawkTM project thus being pace-setters in realizing industrial transatlantic partnership. We are confident that we have taken a step forward for the procurement of the future German signal intelligence system”, reaffirmed Tom Enders, Member of the EADS Executive Committee and CEO of the EADS Defence & Security Systems division. Moreover, together with other reconnaissance systems, Euro HawkTM will be the core element of a networked information system, he stated.
FIRST FLIGHT OF PREDATOR B
30 Oct 03. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA ASI), announced today that on Oct