The United States Air Force (USAF) and Navy use the RQ-4 Global Hawk, a large-scale Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) designed by Northrop Grumman, for long-range/high-endurance intelligence gathering, target identification, and general reconnaissance. Its goal is to support joint combatant forces in global peacetime, contingency, and wartime operations by offering a wide range of ISR collecting capability.
Global Hawk developed as an Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration in 1995. It has been deployed operationally to support overseas contingency operations since November 2001. In the RQ-4 name, the “R” is the Department of Defense designation for reconnaissance and “Q” means unmanned aircraft system. The “4” refers to the series of purpose-built remotely piloted aircraft systems.
As such the aircraft is remotely controlled and utilizes, all of its capabilities through a satellite link with the pilot on the ground. These pilots carry just as many responsibilities as pilots in crude aircraft and are supplied with the same instruments data. Moreover, this drone is amazing that it can survey up to 40 000 square miles of terrain per day with an area the size of South Korea, which is the longest unrefueled flight by a USAF aircraft.
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