If all goes well, the German air force could be the first air arm to routinely operate a military unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in European airspace. The first Euro Hawk should fly from the U.S. to the Manching test base in southern German during mid-2010 and begin operational flight evaluations from Schleswig-Jagel air base a year later.
RQ-4 Global Hawk
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) denied a protest by Lockheed Martin over the U.S. Navy’s selection of the Northrop Grumman RQ-4N Global Hawk UAV for the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) contract. The ruling allows Northrop to proceed with the $2.3 billion system design and development phase of BAMS.
The FAA on August 15 granted the U.S. Air Force a certificate of authorization (COA) to fly its Global Hawk unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) throughout the National Airspace System (NAS), in support of homeland defense missions. The turbofan-powered, DC-3-size Global Hawk is a high-altitude (FL500+) long-range (U.S.
After completion of a ?90 million ($139 million) development program funded by five countries for nearly six years, Europe has developed significant new technology for air-to-ground surveillance. But the work may not be fully exploited, since the intended follow-on program has been cancelled.
After a wave of strategic acquisitions in recent years, L-3 has significantly boosted its presence as a systems integrator in complex defense programs. Alenia’s new C-27J Spartan military transport for the U.S. Joint Cargo Aircraft contract, which made its first flight last month, is L-3’s biggest task to date. The U.S.
The U.S. Navy’s choice of Northrop Grumman to provide the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) platform, using a new version of the Global Hawk UAV designated RQ-4N, has prompted a protest from competitor Lockheed Martin. According to Lockheed Martin, its bid was less than Northrop Grumman’s $1.1 billion proposal. Lockheed bid the Mariner UAV based on the Predator B, in cooperation with General Atomics.
The U.S. Navy has promised to announce the winner of its Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) competition on March 5. The BAMS requirement for a high-altitude, long endurance platform has provoked an intriguing contest. Northrop Grumman was seen as the leading contender, with a version of the Global Hawk UAV equipped with a new radar from the company’s Baltimore facility, plus enhanced communications links.
The U.S. is pushing ahead with a plan to share Global Hawk data and operations with Pacific Rim countries, but has still to define the scheme. Gen.
Raytheon believes that the global market for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) equipment is worth $20 billion over the next five years alone. As the provider of some notable airborne ISR systems to the U.S. armed forces, the company would obviously like to grab a good slice of the export action, too. But there are problems, such as affordability, and U.S. government export restrictions.
The proposed Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system for NATO was scaled back when program officials quietly dropped plans to convert four Airbus A321 airliners after deeming it too expensive. NATO also cancelled development of the Transatlantic Cooperative AGS Radar (TCAR), which would have been the main airborne sensor for the AGS.