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.”
The Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk is a high-altitude, remotely-piloted, surveillance aircraft. It was initially designed by Ryan Aeronautical (now part of Northrop Grumman), and known as Tier II+ during development. The RQ-4 provides a broad overview and systematic surveillance using high-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensors with long loiter times over target areas. It can survey as much as 40,000 square miles (100,000 km2) of terrain per day, an area the size of South Korea or Iceland. The Global Hawk is operated by the United States Air Force (USAF). It is used as a High-Altitude Long Endurance platform covering the spectrum of intelligence collection capability to support forces in worldwide military operations.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is an American multinational aerospace and defense technology company. With 90,000 employees and an annual revenue in excess of $30 billion, it is one of the world’s largest weapons manufacturers and military technology providers. The firm ranks No. 96 on the 2020 Fortune 500 list of America’s largest corporations. Northrop Grumman is made up of four main business sectors: Aeronautics Systems, Defense Systems, Mission Systems and Space Systems. Prior to Northrop Grumman’s reorganization of its divisions on January 1, 2020, the divisions were: Aerospace Systems, Mission Systems, Technology Services, and Innovation Systems.