EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Dec. 20 (UPI) -- The joint-venture Euro Hawk unmanned aerial system performed a 30.3-hour flight in December over California, proving its long-endurance capability.
"Soaring up to 60,000 feet, the Euro Hawk performed beautifully and has logged nearly 100 total flight hours since its maiden flight approximately five months ago," said Duke Dufresne, sector vice president and general manager of the Strike and Surveillance Systems Division for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector. "This flight not only demonstrated the aircraft's endurance capability but it also enabled the team to collect crucial communications data points."
The Euro Hawk is the first international configuration of the RQ-4 Global Hawk high-altitude, long-endurance UAS and is a project of Northrop Grumman and EADS Deutschland GmbH and its Cassidian subsidiary.
Based on the Block 20 configuration, the Euro Hawk, ordered for the German air force, will be equipped with a signals intelligence mission system developed by Cassidian, providing standoff capability to detect electronic and communications emitters.
"This milestone is a significant step toward completion of the ferry flight to Germany next year," said Nicolas Chamussy, senior vice president of Unmanned Aerial Systems for Cassidian. "The aircraft will undergo additional flight testing in Germany before being delivered to the German air force by the end of 2011 to replace the fleet of manned Breguet Atlantic aircraft which went out of service this year."