Japan’s first RQ-4B drone completes maiden flight

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Japanese first RQ-4B Global Hawk unmanned air vehicle completed its maiden flight, marking a major milestone for the international program.

According to a Northrop Grumman statement, Corporation successfully completed the first flight of Japan’s RQ-4B Global Hawk on April 15, 2021 from Palmdale, California.

With an unmatched combination of range, endurance, and payload capability, Global Hawk is the only platform that provides greater data collection flexibility than space or medium-altitude assets.

“The unarmed RQ-4B Global Hawk will provide Japan with on-demand intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information supporting the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s missions of protecting borders, monitoring threats and providing humanitarian assistance in times of need,” said Jane Bishop, vice president and general manager, autonomous systems, Northrop Grumman. “This successful first flight is a significant milestone in delivering Global Hawk to our Japanese allies.”

Global Hawk is the only high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned air vehicle (UAV) to deliver near real-time on demand data around the clock. Once fielded, Global Hawk will integrate with other Japanese intelligence assets, including ground-based command and control units. The capability will provide solutions to monitor and deter regional threats to ensure Japan has a highly effective national security posture well into the future.

 

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