US: The US Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system has completed ground and air demonstrations at Beale Air Force Base, California. This proves that the UAS can send data through a satellite link autonomously and does not need the link used for command and control. Northrop Grumman and US Air Force partners worked together to demonstrate Global Hawk’s compatibility with various satellite communication architectures with no software, hardware or payload changes. "This powerful demonstration illustrates Global Hawk's unique versatility. We're ecstatic with Global Hawk's ability to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance products to operational end users via multiple paths,” said Alfredo Ramirez, director and chief architect of Northrop Grumman's HALE Enterprise.
The aircraft has logged more than 110,000 flight hours and carries different intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensor payloads that permits military commanders to collect close to real-time images and uses radar to detect moving or still targets on the ground or at sea. The system is capable of antiterrorism, antipiracy, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, airborne communications and information sharing missions.