Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Global Hawk flight hour cost down

The U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system has seen a significant decrease in cost per flight hour coupled with a sharp increase in flight hours, officials said. The Global Hawk program has brought the system's cost per flight hour down to the point of being half the cost of the manned alternative. It also saw close to a 40 percent increase in flight hours from 2013 to 2014. Global Hawk variants have flown more than 140,000 flight hours in support of diverse surveillance missions. (Source: Northrop Grumman, 03/04/15) Meanwhile, An RQ-4B Global Hawk, A2019, embarked on a mission March 7 that sent the aircraft past the 10,000 flying-hour milestone at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. The aircraft has been providing support to warfighters by relaying communications between people and aircraft as well as enabling airstrikes on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). (Source: AFNS, 03/10/15) Gulf Coast note: Fuselage work for all Global Hawk variants is done in Moss Point, Miss.