An RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 40 remotely piloted aircraft recently left Grand Forks
AFB, N.D., on the first combat deployment for this Global Hawk variant, according to base officials. "Although Global Hawks have been supporting our warfighters in Afghanistan and elsewhere
for more than a decade, this is the first time this specific model has been
deployed into war," said Col. Lawrence Spinetta, commander of Grand Forks'
69th Reconnaissance Group, which operates
. The flight took place on Sept. 19, according to Grand Forks'
Nov. 20 release. The Block 40 variant features the MP-RTIP sensor, an electronically
scanned array radar that provides synthetic aperture radar imagery and ground moving
target indication data. "The Block 40's GMTI provides a much-needed
capability for our troops overseas, allowing them to track vehicular movement
of enemy forces in near-real time over large areas, regardless of weather,"
said Spinetta. (Grand Forks report
by SSgt. Luis Loza Gutierrez) (See also Global Hawk RPA Family Hits 100,000 Flight Hours