Northrop Grumman and EADS Defence and Security have unveiled the first Eurohawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) at Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, California facility.
Based on the Block 20 Global Hawk, Eurohawk will be equipped with a new signals intelligence (SIGINT) mission system developed by EADS. A ground station consisting of a mission control and launch and recovery elements will be provided by Northrop Grumman. EADS will also provide a SIGINT ground station, which will receive and analyse the data from Eurohawk.
The onboard systems mean that "the German Armed Forces will be able to independently cover their needs for SIGINT data collection and analysis, thus contributing to NATO, EU and UN peacekeeping operations," says Nicolas Chamussy, senior vice president of Mission Air Systems for EADS Defence and Security.
Eurohawk is due to enter service in 2011 and replace Germany's ageing pair of Dassault-Breguet Atlantic SIGINT aircraft.