Originally posted by Figher Master FIN
I had no idea the global hawk faced financial troubles... I thought it was a very smooth project... Any links to web-sites with more fact....??
It's been in the news a few times last few weeks. Today's article contains no new info, I've already posted an article about this on march 16:
US budget watchdog calls for suspension of Northrop RQ-4B UAV full production
You can check my Global Hawk news archive
for more stories on this.
I dont know much about the AN-70 so I can't really comment on that programme. The Global hawk, however, is a program I've followed for quite some
I highly doubt the RQ-4(B) program will be cancelled, it's one of the few programs that's actually really worth it. It's logical oversight groups
are critical about the F-35 JSF and Raptor, they were designed decades ago for threaths that no longer exist.
The U-2 has been in service for 4 decades now, it's missions are increasingly becoming more dangrous for an on-board pilot. It can only operate for
12 hours max, the pilot needs to be concentrated enough to land it, which isn't easy.
The Global Hawk has an endurance of 30+ hours (I believe it's 42 hrs), the Air Force simply needs
them, they can't rely on satellites alone.
I don't know what the benefits of the larger RQ-4B are, but killing the entire Global Hawk program is pretty much out of the question. The Air Force
is very committed
to it's UAV programs.
The debate is about high costs of research/production of the B version. When the UK and Australia buy a couple, unit costs will go down. They also
showed off the Global hawk to Japan
recently. It performed a test flight over Japan and
other Asian countries.
Several nations are considering buying Global Hawks: Australia brings HALE UAV project forward
by a year
Australia could buy some Global Hawks with Japan, Singapore and Thailand. They will then share that 'pool' of Global Hawks between the participating
countries and the US.
It would be dumb to cancel the program when it has such a potential.
[edit on 4-18-2006 by Zion Mainframe]