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Global Hawk Readied for '03 Demonstration

Global Hawk Readied for '03 Demonstration

By Sue Baker, Aeronautical Systems Center Public Affairs.

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio -- (AFPN) December 4, 2002 -- Since Oct. 19, 2001, an international team of Air Force, German ministry of defense and aerospace industry officials has been working toward a demonstration of the interoperability of U.S.-German unmanned aerial vehicle systems using the Global Hawk UAV.

That demonstration is scheduled to take place next spring when a Global Hawk deploys to Germany for a series test flights.

The team effort began following formal approval of a project agreement by Willard H. Mitchell, deputy undersecretary of the Air Force, and Rolf Schreiber, Germany's deputy national armament director for air equipment and technology.

The agreement focuses on joint development and integration of a German electronic intelligence payload on Global Hawk; exchange of flight certification information between the United States and Germany; and deployment of the UAV to Germany to prove the conceptual feasibility of its signals intelligence payload.

"This cooperative effort represents an important achievement: the basic functional capability to cover future German operational needs," said Lt. Col. Michael Hain, deputy section leader for plans and policies for reconnaissance with the German ministry of defense.

The demonstration will mark another joint-program milestone, according to Ralph Herzog, Germany's deputy section leader for fighter aircraft and UAVs.

"The exchange of flight certification information and airspace coordination will facilitate Global Hawk's operation in European airspace for the first time," he said.

Leading up to the decision to deploy the Global Hawk were two successful flight tests held Nov. 17 and 22 at the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The tests confirmed the first successful operation of a German High Altitude Long Endurance Intelligence sensor onboard the Global Hawk.

"These test flights are part of ongoing risk-reduction efforts to prepare Global Hawk for deployment to Germany in spring 2003," said Col. Scott Coale, Air Force program director from the Aeronautical Systems Center's reconnaissance systems program office here. The center manages the UAV's development and acquisition.

During the missions, the sensor was able for the first time to detect radar transmissions from emitters located at the Naval Air Warfare Center at China Lake, Calif. The sensor then sent the transmissions down a line-of-sight communications link to a German ground support station temporarily located at Edwards during the flight tests.

The sensor was manufactured by EADS of Friedrichshafen/Ulm, Germany, and integrated by Global Hawk prime contractor Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems in San Diego.

The tests were a first step toward possible, future development of a German-owned and operated Global Hawk derivative -- the Euro Hawk. The Euro Hawk will replace the aging Breguet Atlantic aircraft, a manned system that currently flies German signals intelligence missions.

During the deployment to Germany, Global Hawk will fly three to six electronic intelligence missions from Nordholz, 60 miles northwest of Hamburg, in pre-coordinated airspace above the North Sea, consortium officials confirmed.

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).