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Last Block 10 Global Hawk Arrives For Check Flights

The last Block 10 production Global Hawk soars over the Mojave Desert on its way to Edwards Air Force Base for acceptance and operational check flights by the 452nd Flight Test Squadron before delivery to Beale Air Force Base, Calif. U.S. Air Force photo by Jim Shryne
by Christopher Ball
Edwards AFB CA (AFNS) Jun 26, 2006
An RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle, the last Block 10 production aircraft, arrived here June 15 for a thorough checkup before delivery to the warfighter. The aircraft will undergo a series of acceptance and operational check flights by the 452nd Flight Test Squadron before flying to Beale Air Force Base, Calif., to take its place as a fully operational reconnaissance aircraft.

"The aircraft is here, ready for acceptance and delivery to the warfighter," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Douglas Jaquish, 452nd Flight Test Squadron commander.

The 452nd Flight Test Squadron delivered the first Block 10 production Global Hawk to Beale in 2004, and this aircraft represents the last of the smaller variants to be delivered, Jaquish said.

"Northrop Grumman has started producing a larger Global Hawk variant," he noted. "The Block 20, 30 and 40 aircraft will have more capability. They've increased the payload by 50 percent."

Jaquish said his team evaluates not only the aircraft, but the sensors that go on board and give the Global Hawk its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability.

"This last Block 10 aircraft represents the fruits of our labors in Global Hawk flight test," Jaquish emphasized. "I couldn't be more proud of the team. Beale's 12th Reconnaissance Squadron just flew Global Hawk past the 10,000-hour mark sixty percent of which were combat hours. That's a major milestone and a testament to the Global Hawk program."

According to the commander, of its eight years flying, Global Hawk has amassed nearly half its hours in the last three years, and over 3,000 in just the last year."

"We're really ramping up," Jaquish said. "Global Hawk is starting to come into its own."

The Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicle provides Air Force and joint battlefield commanders near-real-time, high-resolution, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance imagery.

In the last year, the Global Hawk provided Air Force and joint warfighting commanders more than 15,000 of these images to support the Global War on Terrorism.

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