Northrop Grumman is showcasing the U.S. Air Force‘s RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30 at the Avalon Air Show in Australia, where it arrived following a 3,500-mile flight from Guam, Defense News reported Saturday.
Aaron Mehta writes that this is the first time that the drone has been exhibited at an international air show.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity, not just for defense community but for the general public, to get an appreciation [of the Global Hawk],” said Ian Irving, Northrop chief executive officer for Australia.
He added that the RQ-4’s participation in the event also indicates the “interoperability and commonality” between the U.S. and Australian forces.
The Australian air force is planning to purchase seven of the aircraft’s U.S. Navy version, called MQ-4C Triton, to support maritime surveillance operations, Mehta reports.
South Korea and Japan have also expressed interest in the Global Hawk unmanned system, the report said.
Mehta writes that Mick Jaggers, Global Hawk program manager at Northrop, sees an opportunity in the Asia-Pacific region for a potential consortium of nations to operate unmanned aircraft systems.
“When I look at the body of water, the oil reserves, the fisheries… those are perfect opportunities for people to find those common grounds and figure out a way to use this technology to help those nations,” Jaggers said.