Northrop Grumman on Saturday flew NATO’s first ground surveillance aircraft from a facility in Palmdale to Edwards Air Force Base in California for the vehicle’s inaugural flight.
The company based the aircraft from its Global Hawk wide-area surveillance drone and built the platform in an effort to help NATO monitor borders, protect soldiers and civilians and facilitate humanitarian assistance missions, Northrop said Saturday.
“Collaboration between the alliance and industry partners continues to move this extraordinary program forward,” said Rob Sheehan, Northrop’s deputy program manager for the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance initiative.
Northrop is scheduled to deliver the aircraft to a military base in Sigonella, Italy, next year for the alliance.
NATO intends to procure up to five Global Hawk-derived AGS aircraft from Northrop as well as mobile and transportable terminals for data exploitation, processing and connectivity activities.