Northrop Grumman is reconfiguring the Department of Defense’s RQ-4B Global Hawk unmanned aircraft systems into RQ-4 RangeHawk surveillance drones to support hypersonic missile flight tests under the SkyRange program.
The company said Wednesday the previously designated Block 20 and 30 Global Hawk drones will be installed with sensors to support data collection of hypersonic missile tests.
“Our RQ-4 RangeHawks will support the emerging class of hypersonic weapons and provide a combination of range, endurance and payload capacity,” said Jane Bishop, vice president and general manager of global surveillance at Northrop.
The Global Hawk UAVs are being transported to the DOD Test Resource Management Center in support of the SkyRange initiative.
In December 2021, Northrop secured a task order to begin engineering modification work to repurpose four U.S. Air Force EQ-4 Block 20 Global Hawk aircraft into a hypersonic system testing technology.
Work is being conducted at the company’s Grand Sky facility in North Dakota.