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Global Hawk Reaches 10 Years of Flight, 20,000 Flight Hours

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Global Hawk Unmanned Aircraft Reaches 10 Years of Flight, 20,000 Flight


SAN DIEGO, Feb. 29, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- The RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned

aerial system (UAS), built by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC),

celebrated the 10th anniversary of its first flight on Feb. 28, 2008. On

that date in 1998 the Global Hawk made history when it flew for one hour

over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and climbed to an altitude of 32,000



"Today, this high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) system has logged more than

20,000 total program flight hours, of which more than 15,000 hours were

flown in support of the global war on terrorism (GWOT)," said Jerry Madigan,

Northrop Grumman vice president of HALE systems. "Its range, endurance and

multi-sensor technology capabilities make it an ideal system to support

homeland security objectives."

As the world's first fully autonomous HALE UAS providing persistent

intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to warfighters, the Global

Hawk can fly up to 65,000 feet for more than 35 hours and see through any

inclement weather at any time.

"The 9th Reconnaissance Wing (9RW) flies the RQ-4A in the U.S. Central

Command area of responsibility. Global Hawk continues to prove its

versatility and persistence by providing critical intelligence to Airmen,

Marines and soldiers on the ground in the GWOT," said Brig. Gen. H. D.

Polumbo Jr., commander of the 9RW at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., the

Global Hawk's main operating base. "It is a combat-proven, strategic

capability with the tactical flexibility to survey large geographic areas,

whether supporting overseas military operations or domestic civil missions

like last year's wildfires in Southern California. Beale Airmen are in the

fight everyday using transformational remote split operations."

The Global Hawk industry team is comprised of world-class companies: Aurora

Flight Sciences, Bridgeport, West Va. (V-tail assembly and other composite

structures); L-3 Communications, Salt Lake City (communication system);

Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, El Segundo, Calif. (integrated sensor

suite); Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems, Falls Church, Va.

(ground station); Rolls-Royce Corporation, Indianapolis, Ind. (engine); and

Vought Aircraft Industries, Dallas (wing).

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $32 billion global defense and technology

company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and

solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and

shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

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