Air Force to Share North Dakota AFB Runway With Northrop, General Atomics for UAS Tests

droneThe U.S. Air Force has agreed to share a runway at North Dakota-based Grand Forks Air Force Base with Northrop Grumman and General Atomics for the service branch and companies to test unmanned aerial vehicles.

Sen. John Hoeven’s office (R-N.D.) said Wednesday the service branch signed a joint use agreement with Grand Sky Business and Technology Park to allow Northrop and General Atomics to test their large unmanned aircraft systems on the runway.

The Air Force uses the Grand Forks AFB runway to operate its fleet of Northrop-built Global Hawk UAS.

General Atomics started construction work on a 19,400-square-foot facility at Grand Sky in November 2015 to provide training to more than 100 student UAS pilots per year.

Northrop also broke ground on a new building at the aviation park in October 2015 to carry out research and development work on drones.

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