EURO HAWK®, the premier Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) for the German Armed Forces, was presented today to government officials and media during a rollout ceremony held in Manching, Germany. The UAS arrived on 21 July 2011 following a nonstop ferry flight from Edwards Air Force Base in California to Manching. After its landing, it was successfully fitted with the Integrated Signal Intelligence System (ISIS) developed by Cassidian and will undergo flight testing in 2012. EURO HAWK® is the first international configuration of the RQ-4 Global Hawk High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) UAS. Delivery of the first EURO HAWK® system to the German Air Force and Strategic Intelligence Command (KSA) is scheduled for 2012, with delivery of the following four systems foreseen between 2015 and 2016.
Dr. Stefan Zoller, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cassidian, said: “Today’s rollout ceremony of the EURO HAWK® marks a significant step for the German customer in its acquisition of a leading-edge SIGINT capability.” Zoller added: “EURO HAWK® is an excellent example for the transatlantic cooperation in the defence area, and for the close relationship with our customer. We are very pleased to provide the German Armed Forces with the first HALE UAS which was fitted with a fully Integrated SIGINT System for the detection and identification of ELINT and COMINT (electronic and communications intelligence) emitters. This also proves our significant UAS system integration capabilities. The mission system has been developed by Cassidian for the specific requirements of the German customer and is based on the most advanced technologies.”
Gary Ervin, Corporate Vice President and President of Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems, stressed: “Today, we are a step closer to delivering the first EURO HAWK® to the German Armed Forces. In times of tight budgets, multinational joint developments like this offer great value to nations and provide effective support for troops in the field. We are proud to be part of the EURO HAWK® team.”
Neset Tükenmez, Chief Executive Officer of the Joint Venture EuroHawk GmbH, commented: “EURO HAWK® marks a new era of strategic reconnaissance in Europe. The German Armed Forces will soon be able to independently cover their own national needs for SIGINT data collection and analysis. This will be a high-value contribution to NATO, EU and UN operations in the future. The EURO HAWK® success story will continue with the ISIS flight trials and the hand-over to the German customer in 2012.”
The German Ministry of Defence (MoD) awarded a contract in January 2007 to EuroHawk GmbH for the development, test and support of the Full-Scale Demonstrator EURO HAWK® system. Under this contract, EuroHawk GmbH will provide the SIGINT air vehicles, the complete aircraft and ISIS Mission Ground Segments as well as the aircraft modifications requested for the German needs, flight test and logistics support.
With a wingspan larger than a commercial airliner, endurance of 30 hours and a maximum altitude of more than 60,000 feet, EURO HAWK® is an interoperable, modular and cost-effective replacement to the aging fleet of manned Breguet Atlantic aircraft which was in service since 1972 and officially retired in 2010. EuroHawk GmbH, a 50-50 joint venture of Northrop Grumman and Cassidian, is responsible for the development and manufacturing of EURO HAWK® systems and acts as the national prime contractor for the German MoD through the system’s entire lifecycle.