Global Hawk sensors

Problems in testing sensors on the US Air Force’s Northrop Grumman RQ-4B Global Hawk UAVs were identified in the FY2017 report by the Office of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, released in mid-January. The UTC Aerospace Systems’ MS- 177 long-range electro-optical sensor system, currently fitted to two Block 30 Global Hawks, experienced issues including electromagnetic interference and a slow rate of transfer of imagery to Distributed Common Ground System terminals.

Tests of the MS-177 sensor on the Block 30 Global Hawk began in 2017 and current plans are for the MS-177 to be retrofitted to eight Block 30 Global Hawks before FY2021. The report also identified unspecified cybersecurity problems with the Global Hawk Block 40’s ground moving target indicator radar. David C Isby