Northrop Grumman Corporation has been issued a task order to support the Department of Defense Test Resource Management Center (TRMC) to begin engineering and planning work to reconfigure four United States Air Force EQ-4 Block 20 Global Hawk aircraft for use in the SkyRange fleet of testing vehicles. Northrop Grumman provides support for TRMC’s current fleet of Global Hawk aircraft.
The SkyRange program will equip the four high-altitude, long-endurance EQ-4 aircraft with sensors to demonstrate an alternative data collection support system to support testing U.S. hypersonic systems. Modifications of the Block 20 jets are expected to occur at Northrop Grumman’s Grand Sky facility near Grand Forks, North Dakota.
“The SkyRange program exploits the intrinsic strengths of Global Hawk – altitude, persistence, payload, and flexibility,” said Jane Bishop, vice president and general manager, global surveillance, Northrop Grumman. “Grand Sky’s high-tech facility with a modern 35,000 square foot hangar provides the ideal location for engineering modifications to Global Hawk in support of the SkyRange program.”
Today, Global Hawk is the premier autonomous, high-altitude, long-endurance ISR platform for the U.S. Air Force and global partners. To meet future operational needs, Global Hawk is receiving ground station, cyber resiliency and mission planning upgrades for it to deliver intelligence to Combatant Commanders and perform new missions without putting personnel in harm’s way.