Northrop Grumman Company’s RQ-4 RangeHawk is poised to assist the SkyRange program’s U.S. hypersonic missile flight checks from its Grand Sky facility close to Grand Forks, North Dakota. SkyRange is the Division of Protection Take a look at Useful resource Administration Middle’s (TRMC) unmanned high-altitude, long-endurance, responsive cellular flight take a look at system. Whereas earlier testing relied on ship-based sensors, RangeHawks can carry out such missions with fewer belongings, decreasing value and complexity. RangeHawks are outfitted with sensors to show an alternate data-collection assist system to check hypersonic methods, and have participated in a number of hypersonic take a look at occasions within the Pacific and elsewhere.

In assist of the SkyRange initiative, Block 20 and 30 RQ-4B World Hawk plane are being transferred to TRMC to be reconfigured into RangeHawks. The conversion will combine superior payloads to equip the plane with the aptitude to assist the testing of hypersonic autos and different long-range weapons. RangeHawks present over-the-horizon altitude, endurance and adaptability, that are vital for amassing telemetry and different information to watch the automobile throughout flight checks. Growing the capability of hypersonic automobile testing furthers analysis and improvement needed to stay aggressive within the international panorama.


George Rumford, performing director and principal deputy, TRMC, delivers feedback throughout SkyRange fleet growth ceremony. (Picture by Northrop Grumman Company)

“SkyRange will allow the Division of Protection to speed up our tempo of testing hypersonic methods,” mentioned George Rumford, performing director and principal deputy, TRMC. “Northrop Grumman’s RangeHawk is ideally suited to gather information by offering persistent time-on-station positioned nearer to flight path and agility to adapt to the dynamics of a testing atmosphere – a pressure multiplier as we evolve vital nationwide safety capabilities.”

“Our RQ-4 RangeHawks will assist the rising class of hypersonic weapons and supply a mix of vary, endurance and payload capability,” mentioned Jane Bishop, vp and basic supervisor, international surveillance, Northrop Grumman. “These plane will proceed their position in very important nationwide safety missions whereas enabling us to convey premier plane design, modification, operations and sustainment work to the Grand Forks neighborhood.”

Northrop Grumman can also be managing operations and sustainment of the RQ-4A RangeHawk prototype fleet in partnership with NASA at Armstrong Flight Analysis Middle at Edwards Air Power Base, together with integrating new payloads for the longer term RQ-4B RangeHawk fleet. Northrop Grumman helps many methods vital to connecting every service throughout a number of domains whereas advancing aeronautics to assist guarantee protection forces keep forward of adversaries. As a confirmed pioneer in autonomous methods, Northrop Grumman’s present and future platforms are revolutionary in deterring and interesting adversaries on the battlefield. Northrop Grumman is a expertise firm, centered on international safety and human discovery.