RQ-4 Block 30 Global Hawk reached IOC

The U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command has declared that the unmanned RQ-4 Block 30 Global Hawk built by that the Northrop Grumman has reached its initial operational capability (IOC). IOC is declared when a development program completes initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E), and is cleared to support real-time operations.

While IOC was recently declared, the Air Force determined there was a critical need to implement Block 30 Global Hawks earlier this year. The Block 30s were moved to operational status prior to the IOT&E report being released and have provided critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in support of disaster relief efforts in Japan, NATO operations over Libya and are replacing Block 10 aircraft in Central Command operations.

“The men and women of Northrop Grumman are proud to provide Global Hawk’s unprecedented capabilities to support critical missions all over the world,” said George Guerra, HALE vice president, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.

Block 30 Global Hawk is a high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial reconnaissance system which provides military field commanders with high resolution, near real-time imagery of large geographic areas

“The basic requirement for Block 30 IOC is to support one continuous Block 30 24-hour orbit for 30 days,” said Gen. William M. Fraser III. “There are enough assets and infrastructure in place to support the one continuous Block 30 orbit requirement for IOC.”

There are currently nine Block 30 Global Hawks stationed abroad.

Source: ASDNews, airforce-technology.com

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