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Northrop Grumman Delivers Global Hawk Drone to Japan

Northrop Grumman delivered the first of three RQ-4B Global Hawk drones to Japan, the defense and aerospace contractor said Monday.

The unmanned aircraft flew from Palmdale on March 10 and landed more than 18 hours later on March 12 at Misawa Air Base in Japan.

Jane Bishop, vice president and general manager of global surveillance for the Falls Church, Va. company, said that the arrival of the first Global Hawk is a milestone in the development of an important security asset.

“The autonomous Global Hawk will provide the Japan Air Self-Defense Force with persistent, high-altitude surveillance of the Indo-Pacific,” Bishop said in a statement. “Global Hawk’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities will provide invaluable support to Japanese national security and to the security of allies across the region.”

The Global Hawk, made at Northrop Grumman’s plant in Palmdale, is a high-altitude, long-endurance drone equipped with mission-specific sensors. Combined with other Japanese intelligence assets, the advanced unmanned aircraft will provide solutions to monitor and deter regional threats, contributing to Japan’s national security well into the future, Northrop said in release.

Japan, with its Global Hawk fleet, will be part of a growing list of allied nations operating high-altitude surveillance drones. The United States, Australia, NATO and South Korea will all operate versions of the aircraft, according to the Northrop release.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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