Northrop Global Hawk UAV Deployed to Assist Philippine Typhoon Relief

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A Northrop Grumman-built unmanned aerial vehicle was used by the U.S. Air Force to collect geographic imagery and data to help speed relief efforts in the Philippines after Super Typhoon Haiyan.

The Global Hawk drone flew in November from the Andersen Air Force Base in Guam and relayed images of Philippines’ typhoon-hit areas to disaster response personnel, Northrop said Monday.

“Mission planning in a crisis is hard, but having the ability to task and retask Global Hawk gives commanders the flexibility to conduct productive intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions that feed near real-time information to the response teams who need it the most,” said Jim Culmo, vice president of Northrop’s high altitude long endurance enterprise programs.

Global Hawks was also deployed to support humanitarian missions following the 2010 Haiti earthquake and the 2011 tsunami tragedy in Japan.

The drone has recorded more than 100,000 flight hours to date and helped with U.S.’ combat operations in the Middle East.