Global Hawk RPA Family Hits 100,000 Flight Hours

Northrop Grumman’s family of Global Hawk high-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft has reached 100,000 flight hours, announced the company on Monday. Air Force Global Hawks amassed more than 88 percent of these hours, states the company’s Sept. 9 release. NASA Global Hawks, the German Euro Hawk, Navy Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstrator airplanes, and, more recently, Navy Tritons flew the remaining hours. “Global Hawk flew for the first time in 1998 and was used by the Air Force for surveillance missions over Afghanistan just three years later,” said George Guerra, Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk vice president. “Global Hawk has been used continuously by the Air Force since that time. The system has also supported disaster response efforts, science studies conducted by NASA, and is the foundation of our new HALE enterprise,” he said. Approximately 75 percent of the Air Force’s Global Hawk flight hours have been in combat, providing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance support or relaying communications, according to the release.