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Global Hawk flies new sensor package

July 8, 2011 at 10:57 AM   |   Comments

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., July 8 (UPI) -- The newest Northrop Grumman-built RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV completed the first acceptance flight of an operational Block 30 multi-intelligence sensor package.

The flight marks a new era of increased operational intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability flown with multiple sensors simultaneously from a single platform, the company said.

The multi-intelligence sensor package includes the airborne signals intelligence payload manufactured by Northrop Grumman and the enhanced integrated sensor suite that includes electro-optical/infrared and synthetic aperture radar.

The ASIP system includes both electronics and communications collection capability.

"Block 30 Global Hawks are currently equipped with both EO/IR and SAR sensors as components of the Enhanced Integrated Sensor Suite built by Raytheon and they have provided round-the-clock support for both military and humanitarian efforts overseas," said George Guerra, HALE Systems vice president, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.

"The ASIP will be added to the EISS on the Block 30 Global Hawks, which will provide a persistent level of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance that has never before been provided by any aircraft."

HALE stands for high altitude, long endurance.

There are nine Block 30 Global Hawks at forward operating locations. Eventually, they will rotate through Northrop's Palmdale, Calif., facility to have the ASIP sensor added to their current EISS-only Block 30 configuration.

It will be a seamless addition because the Block 30s are already configured to accept ASIP. The addition of the ASIP provides the warfighter with critical ISR collection capability that extends beyond imagery.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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