Flight testing of the first Block 20 example of Northrop Grumman's RQ-4 Global Hawk high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned air vehicle is under way at Edwards AFB in California, following its first flight early last month.

Compared with the baseline Block 10 air vehicle, the new version has a 2.1m (7ft)-longer fuselage, 4.5m-wider wingspan, larger V-tail and a 50% increase in payload to 1,360kg (3,000lb).

The design will carry longer-range electro-optical, infrared and synthetic-aperture radar sensors and, for the first time, a signals-intelligence payload. The first aircraft will be delivered to Beale AFB, California late next year after operational test and evaluation.

Global Hawk


Source: Flight International