USAF is moving ahead with efforts to integrate the Airborne Signals Intelligence Payload on its Global Hawk and Predator unmanned aerial vehicles, says a senior Air Force weapons buyer. The Sigint package has already flown on the U-2 and its development is progressing well, Martha Evans, director for information dominance programs, said during a meeting with reporters on Jan. 29 (see above). Developmental flight testing of a scaled version of ASIP is set to begin this month on the Global Hawk Block 30 aircraft. USAF let a contract in December 2007 for a scaled-down version of the sensor to put on the MQ-1 Predator. USAF also intends to integrate ASIP on the MQ-9 Reaper. ASIP will be able to detect and identify electronic signals and geo-locate them among its capabilities, Evans said.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.