Global Hawk Flies High, Sees All in Rim of the Pacific Navy Exercise
San Diego, California -- (NG-IS)
August 16, 2006 -- During the multi-national Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC)
exercise, the RQ-4 Global Hawk Maritime Demonstration system produced by
Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) flew four successful maritime
surveillance missions to demonstrate the system's capabilities from identifying
targets in a coastal, or littoral, environment to wide area maritime search,
tracking and identification. The RIMPAC exercise was conducted in late July in
the Pacific Ocean around Hawaii.
Global Hawk -
Northrop Grumman Photo
The U.S. Navy operated one of
its two Global Hawk Maritime Demonstration (GHMD) air vehicles from Edwards Air
Force Base, Calif., to Hawaii for each mission flown. Equipped with sensors
carrying new maritime software modes, GHMD captured images of various RIMPAC
activities, including a ship-sinking exercise, expanded maritime interdiction
operations, and wide-area search and surveillance to locate target vessels at
sea. GHMD flew more than 2,500 miles each way for a total of more than 100
flight hours and provided more than 8 hours on-station time during each mission.
"We directed the GHMD system to
perform a series of different missions during the exercise and it provided the
near-real-time persistent maritime/littoral surveillance data right when we
needed it," commented Commander Robert Proano, the U.S. Navy's Third Fleet
coordinator for the RIMPAC exercise.
"This is the second exercise in
the last 12 months to successfully demonstrate Global Hawk's ability to provide
long-dwell, accurate maritime surveillance over both the open ocean and littoral
waters," said Jerry Madigan, vice president of Northrop Grumman's high altitude,
long endurance systems. "Global Hawk's ability to clearly identify and track
target vessels in various sea states from 12 miles above the ocean's surface
will extend the Navy's reach to protect Navy battle groups, U.S. territories and
defend against intruders."
Global Hawk's role as a flexible
interoperable surveillance asset was successfully demonstrated when the air
vehicle flew back over land and operators were able to switch its sensors easily
from their maritime modes to the over-land modes.
Global Hawk flies autonomously
at an altitude of at least 60,000 feet for more than 35 hours, depending on the
mission. During a single mission, Global Hawk can travel more than 10,000
nautical miles from its takeoff location, and it provides detailed image-based
intelligence on 40,000 square miles, an area approximately the size of Illinois.
In addition to on-going testing
for the U.S. Navy and other services, production Global Hawks are employed
in-theater today supporting the global war on terrorism.
Northrop Grumman Corporation
is a global defense company headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. Northrop
Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and
solutions in systems integration, defense electronics, information technology,
advanced aircraft, shipbuilding and space technology. With more than 120,000
employees and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman
serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.
Contact: Cynthia Curiel, Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems, (858) 618-4355