SAN DIEGO, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Critical sensors for Block 40 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles have been delivered to the U.S. Air Force by Northrop Grumman.
Delivery of the first production Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program Sensor took place at Edwards Air Force Base in California for integration on the first U.S. Air Force Block 40 Global Hawk.
The first MP-RTIP Global Hawk flight is scheduled to occur by early next year.
Northrop said MP-RTIP technology allows detection of multiple stopped, slow and fast-moving objects on the ground in any weather, day or night.
"The MP-RTIP equipped Global Hawk is an unprecedented combination because it provides greater situational awareness for the warfighter," said George Guerra, vice president High Altitude Long Endurance programs. "We are currently on track leading up to first flight and look forward to meeting all upcoming milestones to ensure we provide this critical resource to the warfighter as quickly as possible."
The Global Hawk UAV flies at altitudes up to as much as 60,000 feet for more than 30 hours per sortie at speeds approaching 340 knots. The MP-RTIP-equipped Block 40 Global Hawk can persistently see through most types of weather, day or night.
Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems is the prime contractor for the Global Hawk and MP-RTIP programs.