Northrop Grumman Global Hawk reaches 25,000 combat hours
Northrop Grumman´s RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) recently reached a major milestone -- 25,000 combat hours -- during an operational sortie July 8-9 from a deployed location.
First flown in 1998, Global Hawk has logged 1,229 missions so far in support of Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) and disaster relief efforts. It has seen service in Operations Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and Iraqi Freedom, and in several U.S. and international joint forces exercises. It has also provided support during Hurricane Ike and California wildfires. In total, the Global Hawk has made 32500 flight hours in US Air Force and US Navy service.
To date, 33 Global Hawks have been assembled, including the two for the Navy's Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstration program, seven advanced concept technology demonstration aircraft built under the original development program sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and one Euro Hawk for the German Ministry of Defence.
Global Hawks are currently flown in four locations across the globe: Beale Air Force Base, home of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing and the RQ-4's main operating base, in Northern California; Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California; Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland; and a Forward Operating Location in support of the OCO efforts.