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It can track ships at sea, sense the slightest change in the dirt and even take the temperatures of forests and crops. It’s the giant Global Hawk spy drone from U.S. manufacturer Northrop Grumman — and it’s making the world a very dangerous place for terrorists, insurgents and international criminals … and a better place for scientists.
But that doesn’t mean the Global Hawk is without its detractors. The U.S. Air Force, in particular, has mixed feelings about the drone — for reasons that are not entirely clear but could have something to do with an even more capable secret Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.
The Global Hawk, also known by its military designation RQ-4, is a high-flying, long-endurance remotely-piloted plane that can stay aloft for more than 30 hours straight, following GPS waypoints and responding to commands relayed via satellite by operators on the ground.
There could be a good reason for the flying branch’s reticence. Flight Global reported in April that senior officials believe that Lockheed Martin’s U-2 spy plane and other “classified platforms” had the ability to take over the Global Hawk’s intelligence, reconnaissance, surveillance missions—and do it better.
If it can detect ground disturbances? this may be a way of starting to counter the threat from IED's? depends totally on if we could get enough of them airborne and available though i suppose?