SAN DIEGO, June 9 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force's award for excellence in aircraft sustainment has been awarded to the service's RQ-4 Global Hawk program.
The RQ-4 Global Hawk is a high-altitude unmanned aerial system for surveillance and built by Northrop Grumman. The system has flown 100,500 total flight hours supporting diverse global missions, such as anti-terrorism, anti-piracy, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, airborne communications and information-sharing.
In announcing the Dr. James G. Roche Sustainment Excellence Award for superior performance in aircraft maintenance and logistics readiness, the Air Force noted a "significant improvement in aircraft performance and sustainment."
High total aircraft availability, mission capability, and low non-mission capability rates for maintenance and supply from Oct. 2012 through Sept. 2013 contributed to the award, it said, as well as the aircraft's upgraded signals intelligence payload and other components
The award was the second in a row for the aircraft program.
"Northrop Grumman is proud to provide logistical and maintenance support to the U.S. Air Force Global Hawk team that has earned this impressive sustainment award," said Mick Jaggers, Global Hawk Unmanned Aircraft System program director, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "This recognition, combined with recent awards for safety and endurance, underscores Global Hawk's performance as a mission capable system our customers can rely on."