Euro Hawk flies at Palmdale
The Euro Hawk successfully completed its first flight on June 29. The high-flying aircraft took off from Northrop Grumman’s Palmdale, Calif., manufacturing facility and climbed to 32,000 feet over Palmdale’s desert skies before landing nearly two hours later at Edwards Air Force Base.
Based on the Block 20 Global Hawk, Euro Hawk will be equipped with new signal intelligence (SIGINT) mission system developed by EADS Defence & Security, providing standoff capability to detect electronic and communications emitters.
A ground station consisting of a mission control and launch and recovery elements will be provided by Northrop Grumman. EADS Defence & Security will also provide a SIGINT ground station, which will receive and analyze the data from Euro Hawk as part of an integrated system solution.
The German Ministry of Defence (MoD) awarded a contract in January 2007 to EuroHawk GmbH for the development, test and support of the Euro Hawk® SIGINT surveillance and reconnaissance system. Under this contract, EuroHawk GmbH will also provide aircraft modifications, mission control and launch and recovery ground segments, flight test and logistics support.
With a wingspan larger than a commercial airliner and endurance of 30 hours and a maximum altitude of more than 60,000 feet, Euro Hawk is an interoperable replacement to the aging fleet of manned Breguet Atlantic aircraft, which have been in service since 1972. Subsequent systems are anticipated for delivery between 2016 and 2017 following successful testing and introduction in German operational service in 2011.