Global Hawk Partnerships

The Air Force and the Navy are looking at “synergies” in the operation of their respective Global Hawk and Broad Area Maritime Surveillance aircraft, Northrop Grumman officials said Tuesday during a press briefing in Washington, D.C. Global Hawk and BAMS, both based on the RQ-4 air vehicle, are almost identical, except for sensors. The Navy is bypassing building mobile ground stations for BAMS and is putting the control elements in a building, said company BAMS vice president Steve Enewold. The Air Force is now also looking at going with permanent locations since the need for mobile control units has waned due to the use of satellite and fiber connections that make near-instantaneous control of these aircraft possible from a world away. In fact, the two services are looking at joint Global Hawk-type operating locations at NAS Sigonella on the island of Sicily, and at Guam, he said.