The Northrop Grumman-built UAVs have completed inaugural flight tests ahead of their delivery to Japan.
Defence prime Northrop Grumman successfully completed the first flight of Japan’s RQ-4B Global Hawk last Wednesday (15 April).
The UAV was procured by the Japanese Ministry of Defense in 2014, and is expected to be integrated with other Japanese intelligence assets, including ground-based command and control units.
Global Hawk is designed to provide high-altitude, long-endurance support, delivering near real-time on demand data to monitor and deter regional threats.
“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,” Jane Bishop, vice president and general manager, autonomous systems, Northrop Grumman, said.
“This successful first flight is a significant milestone in delivering Global Hawk to our Japanese allies.”
Other nations deploying the aircraft include the US, Australia, NATO and Korea.
[Related: Triton exceeding operational expectations]