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UK Defence Committee Enquiry Into ISTAR And Role Of UAVs

The Global Hawk UAV developed for the US Air Force is a fully autonomous high altitude long endurance unmanned aerial system. It can autonomously, taxi, take off, fly, remain on station while capturing imagery, return and land.
by Staff Writers
London, UK (SPX) Jun 11, 2008
Northrop Grumman welcomed the opportunity to participate in the enquiry by the House of Commons Defence Select Committee into ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) and the role of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) in providing ISTAR capability.

The company gave evidence based on its extensive experience in the United States in developing UAVs with the US Air Force, US Army and the US Navy.

"UAVs are transforming the battlefield -- in war-fighting situations, they offer shortened target engagement timescales; for peacekeeping missions, they offer vital persistent ISTAR capabilities; they also have the potential to migrate into civilian roles and applications such as disaster relief and anti-terrorism surveillance," said John Brooks, president of Northrop Grumman International Inc.

"Northrop Grumman has considerable capabilities to offer in delivering ISTAR solutions to international markets."

Northrop Grumman has a 60-year history of providing more than 100,000 unmanned systems to military customers in the US and around the world.

Its current portfolio spans a variety of different platforms: the high-altitude, long-endurance fully autonomous Global Hawk for the US Air Force and Navy; the Fire Scout helicopter for the US Navy and Army that has the ability to take off and land autonomously on any aviation-capable warship and at prepared and unprepared landing zones; the Hunter medium-altitude UAV first fielded for the US Army in 1996 to provide dedicated reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition capability, relaying information real-time via video link to ground forces; and the stealthy X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) for the US Navy.

The Navy UCAS will perform the first ever at-sea aircraft carrier launches and recoveries with a fixed-wing unmanned air system.

"UAVs are an increasingly important capability and a strategic priority in the UK," said Graham Thornton, managing director of Northrop Grumman UK.

"We are committed to bringing advanced technology into the UK defence market to accelerate the fielding of next-generation military capability and are able and willing to participate fully in helping to meet the UK's requirements in the ISTAR domain and to working with the MoD and the UK supply chain to achieve these objectives."

The Global Hawk UAV developed for the US Air Force is a fully autonomous high altitude long endurance unmanned aerial system. It can autonomously, taxi, take off, fly, remain on station while capturing imagery, return and land.

It provides persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and is designed to fly up to 65,000 ft for more than 35 hours. Global Hawk is monitored during its flight by ground-based operators who can alter the system's flight path and sensor operations.

To date three Global Hawks are deployed in support of US military operations, logging nearly 17,000 combat hours conducting intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions and with more than 21,000 total programme flight hours. The UAV is equipped with EO/IR and synthetic aperture radar sensors to provide high-quality real-time imagery.

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Boeing Awarded Navy Contract For ScanEagle Services
St. Louis MO (SPX) Jun 10, 2008
Boeing, in partnership with Insitu, has been awarded a $65 million contract to provide continuing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) services through the ScanEagle unmanned aircraft system.

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