Northrop Grumman announced that EURO HAWK, the first high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE), signals intelligence (SIGINT) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) based on the RQ-4 Global Hawk produced by Northrop Grumman for the German Bundeswehr, successfully touched down in Manching, Germany, on July 21.
The EURO HAWK took off on July 20 at 2:50 PDT from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and landed at 10:06 Central European Summer Time July 21 in Manching Air Base.
The EURO HAWK will carry a new SIGINT mission system developed by EADS Deutschland GmbH (Cassidian) and integrated in Manching, Germany.
"Today's arrival of the EURO HAWK on German soil marks a significant step in delivering this highly capable and unique system to the Bundeswehr," says Nicolas Chamussy, head of UAVs, Cassidian Air Systems, and member of the board of directors, EuroHawk GmbH. "Our trans-Atlantic partnership with Northrop Grumman has helped the entire team achieve this outstanding milestone, which also reinforces Cassidian's role as a leader for complex UAS solutions in Europe."
Delivery of the first EURO HAWK demonstrator to the Bundeswehr is scheduled for mid-2012, with another four systems scheduled tentatively between 2015 and 2017.
"Soon, the Bundeswehr will be able to independently cover their needs for SIGINT data collection and analysis, thus contributing to NATO, European Union and United Nations operations," says Neset Tukenmez, chief executive officer, EuroHawk GmbH. "EURO HAWK will also serve as a working model for other programs and countries."
The EURO HAWK marks several important milestones – it is both the first international version of the RQ-4 and the first HALE SIGINT UAS in Europe. NATO's AGS will follow close behind and mark the second international RQ-4 and the second HALE UAS in Europe.
With a wingspan larger than most commercial airliners, endurance of 30 hours and a maximum altitude of more than 60,000 ft/18,288m, EURO HAWK is an interoperable, modular and cost-effective replacement to the fleet of manned Breguet Atlantic aircraft, which was in service since 1972 and retired in 2010.
EuroHawk GmbH, a 50-50 joint venture of Northrop Grumman and EADS Deutschland GmbH (Cassidian), serves as the national prime contractor for the German Ministry of Defence through the system's entire lifecycle.