Euro Hawk tests with 25 hour flight over Germany
The Euro Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) set an endurance record Aug. 8 when it flew continuously for 25.3 hours in European airspace, Northrop Grumman announced today. The procurement program has been terminated by the German defence ministry.
"This is the longest flight flown in European skies by an unrefuelled UAS in the more than 30,000-pound [14,600-kilogramme] class," said Rolf Wirtz, head of Mission Systems, Cassidian's UAS branch. "The Euro Hawk has performed safely and reliably with good results throughout its entire flight test programme. It is the only system that can meet Germany's requirement for high-altitude signals intelligence surveillance missions."
On June 6, the Euro Hawk flew over the North Sea for the first time, soaring throughout Germany before returning 6.5 hours later to Manching Air Base.
"To date, the Euro Hawk has completed 19 flights and approximately 200 flight hours," said Janis Pamiljans, sector vice president and general manager of Unmanned Systems for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector. "We remain committed to delivering the best technology solution at the most affordable cost to meet Germany's national security interests."
The flight tests of the Euro Hawk in Germany were aimed at verifying the ISIS SIGINT system developed by Cassidian. After cancelling the Euro Hawk procurement due to certification problems and cost increases, the Bundeswehr is now tasked with identifying an alternative solution for the high-altitude signals intelligence mission.