You won't be able to do ASW with it (I don't care what that old PPT from '05 says), but it is a smart solution for long-dwell surface search and other Maritime Awareness missions. Smart move - or at least a smart experiment going forward.
The Navy yesterday awarded a $1.16 billion contract to Northrop Grumman Corp. to design and build an unmanned surveillance aircraft for the Navy, a decision the company said would bring 1,700 new jobs to San Diego.Good partner with the P-8A. Big question - can you make a BAMS Reaper-like, pant, pant? Had to ask ....
Northrop Grumman bested two rivals, including a San Diego company, in the competition to create a spy plane that will detect and transmit threats and provide other intelligence to Navy fleets around the globe.Northrop Grumman's bid for the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance program uses a maritime derivative of its RQ-4 Global Hawk.The Los Angeles-based contractor will use a modified version of its Global Hawk, an unmanned aircraft employed by the Air Force in Iraq and Afghanistan, for what the Navy calls the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance project.
Length: 47.6 feet
Wingspan: 130.9 feet
Height: 15.3 feet
Maximum altitude: Above 60,000 feet
Maximum flight endurance: 36 hours, with capability to fly more than 2,300 statute miles and “loiter” for 24 hours.
The project is focused on the design and construction of two unmanned aircraft, as well as supporting equipment for transmitting information. Over time, the Navy plans to build a total of 68 aircraft, at a cost of $55 million per aircraft, officials said.