December 10, 2007

Global Hawk

A pic of the Global Hawk UAV that returned from Iraq on Monday under its own power. (Iraq to Edwards AFB in CA) - Not transported via C5 or C17. Notice the mission paintings on the fuselage. It's actually over 250 missions. That's a long way for a remotely-piloted aircraft. Think of the technology (and the required quality of the data link to fly it remotely). Not only that but the pilot controlled it from a nice warm control panel at Edwards AFB. It has really long legs - - -it can stay up for almost 2 days at altitudes above 60k.

Most people have no idea what stealth brings to the battle. Basically, they come into the fight at a high mach thrust, start killing people way out with AMRAAMS, and continue doing that until everyone is dead, and no one ever sees them or paints them on radar. There is practically no radio chatter because all the guys in the flight are tied together electronically at Edwards AFB, and can see who is targeting who, and they have AWACS direct input and 360°situational awareness from that and other sensors.

Remember that when Global Hawk is on a killing mission in Iraq or Afghanistan, the "pilot" is sitting at a console at Edwards AFB in CA.


Anonymous said...

The RQ-4 Global Hawk is an outstanding program, but the aircraft doesn't carry weapons. AMRAAM is the Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile, also know as the AIM-120 Slammer. It is not carried on the Global Hawk and is strictly an air-to-air weapon used by fighter aircraft such as the F-15, F-16, F/A-18, and the F-22.

Global Hawk is used for ISR (Intelligence, Surviellence, and Reconnisance). The MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper are Unmanned Aerial Vehicles that do carry air to ground and, in some cases, air-to-air weapons and have been used in anger to kill the enemy, primarily with AGM-114 Hellfire missiles.

Dan said...

Hey, thanks for the correction and additional information, anonymous. Much appreciated.