For the first time, Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4 Global Hawk autonomous aircraft system has landed during Avalon 2019 - the Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition which was staged at Avalon Airport, Geelong, Victoria from 26 February to 03 March.
From starting out as a speck in the sky, the aircraft flew in smoothly, landing precisely on the runway before pausing and then taxiing itself to a point where it was towed to the static display area.
This autonomous system has been supporting the U.S. and its allies for nearly two decades around the world. The Block 40 aircraft arrived after a 13-hour, 3,075 nautical mile journey from Andersen Air Force Base.
Global Hawk’s important mission is to provide a broad spectrum of data collection capability to support joint combatant forces in worldwide peacetime, contingency, disaster relief and military operations.
With a wingspan of 130 feet – the same as a 737 - Global Hawk provides near-real-time actionable intelligence for more than 30 hours at a time – the unblinking eye in the sky, at altitudes of 60,000 feet or 11 miles high.
There are always several Global Hawk systems in the air somewhere in the world 24 hours a day; 7 days a week; 365 days a year, with flight crews operating the system halfway across the world out of harm’s way.
Welcomed by an excited crowd, this historic first for Global Hawk was made possible due to the support of and partnership with the United States Air Force, in collaboration with the Royal Australian Air Force and airshow organizers.
Avalon hosts multiple concurrent conferences and expo streams, across the spectrum of Defence, Airlines, Business and General Aviation, Sport and Recreational Aviation, Airports, MRO, Space, Unmanned Systems, Air Safety and Ground Equipment.
Avalon supports multiple ways to engage with government, industry and defence opportunities; including indoor and outdoor exhibitions, chalets, sponsorship, and networking events.
Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, space, strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide.