The Northrop Grumman-built Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system has logged 200,000 flight hours.
The company said Tuesday Global Hawks operated by the U.S. Air Force recorded 88 percent of the total flight hours while UAVs run by NASA, U.S. Navy and Germany logged the remaining flight hours.
“This milestone is especially meaningful as it comes just before the 15th anniversary of Global Hawk’s first deployment into the theater of operations following the tragic events of 9/11,” said Mick Jaggers, vice president and program manager for Global Hawk at Northrop.
The Air Force demonstrated its SYERS-2 sensor built for intelligence collection onboard Northrop’s RQ-4 Global Hawk in February.
Northrop plans to use the drone’s open systems architecture to fly and test the MS-177 multispectral sensor and Optical Bar Camera later this year.
Global Hawk is designed to fly at a maximum altitude of 60,000 feet for at least 30 hours and works to support intelligence and humanitarian missions as well as perform data sharing and aerial communication functions during military operations.