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Northrop Grumman Unmanned Aircraft Systems Achieve 100,000 Flight Hours l Photos

Northop Grumman‘s portfolio of unmanned aircraft systems achieved 100,000 combined flight hours on Sept. 9, 2013. The 100,000 hours were made in the 15 years since the Global Hawk completed its first flight on Feb. 28, 1998. The U.S. Air Force‘s comparatively geriatric Global Hawk accounted for more than 88 percent of the 100,000 flight hours. “U.S. Air Force Global Hawk is performing well and has contributed to the global intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance [ISR] mission, flying approximately 75 percent of its total flight hours in combat to support six combatant commands,” said Col. Carlin Heimann, Global Hawk system program director for the U.S. Air Force. The other 12 percent of the 100,000 flight hours mark for the company’s unmanned aircraft systems is made up of NASA Global Hawks, German Euro Hawks, the U.S. Navy‘s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstrator (BAMS-D), and more recently, the Navy’s MQ-4C Triton, which made its first flight May 22. “The 100,000-hour milestone is a tribute to a great team that has supported combat operations for more than a decade,” added Heimann.


Steven Hoarn is the Editor/Photo Editor for Defense Media Network. He is a graduate of...