Northrop Grumman‘s Unmanned Systems Center has begun manufacturing the first of five Global Hawk UAVs intended for NATO intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations.
The NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Block 40 Global Hawk aircraft is designed to offer land and sea situational awareness for both military and civilian operations including relief operations and peacekeeping, Northrop said Tuesday.
“With the ability to fly up to 60,000 feet and for more than 30 hours, the NATO AGS system is uniquely suited to support NATO missions worldwide,” said Jim Culmo, vice president of high-altitude, long endurance enterprise at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.
The NATO AGS system will be installed with the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion radar sensor meant to provide NATO Alliance Ground Management Agency with multi-mode, airborne ground surveillance capabilities in different conditions.
The system is also built to support line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight wide-band data connectivity as well as in-theater, interoperable support for European-sourced mobile and transportable ground stations.
Northrop, together with EADS Deustchland, Kongsberg, Selex ES and defense companies from NATO nations, won the prime contract from the NATO Alliance Ground Management Agency during the NATO summit in May 2012.
According to Northrop, there are 15 countries involved in the production of the surveillance drone.