Defense News: NATO Air Base in Italy to Take in 5 Northrop Global Hawks by Year’s End

NATO AGS AircraftNorthrop Grumman is scheduled to deliver five unmanned ground surveillance aircraft to NATO’s Sigonella air base in Sicily, Italy by the end of this year, Defense News reported Monday.

Program officials told Defense News that 30 NATO personnel are now on the air base in preparation for a performance assessment of five Northrop-built Global Hawk drones and related ground components as part of NATO’s Alliance Ground Surveillance system.

Tom Kington writes NATO staff will perform a performance review prior to a complete handover of the drones to the alliance in 2017.

Northrop launched its first Global Hawk for NATO last month in an effort to test its flight controls.

The company has begun to conduct test flights to evaluate the unmanned aircraft’s radar and will set up a ground station at the Sicilian air base that will work to analyze and transmit radar data to a NATO network, Kington reports.

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