RQ-4 Global Hawk
RQ-4 Global Hawk

RQ-4 Global Hawk


The RQ-4 Global Hawk is a US-made strategic reconnaissance UAV.

February 28 1998 city made its first flight from the air force base in California. In 2004, the first aircraft was handed over to the US Navy. In March 2006, he proceeded to carry out combat missions.

During 30 hours patrolling unit can produce at an altitude of 18 thousand. Meters. Created Teledyne Ryan Aeronautica - an American company (subsidiary of Northrop Grumman).

RQ-4 Global Hawk

US Air Force in January 2012 was decided to freeze the purchase of RQ-4 Global Hawk in this modification as the Block 30. Earlier adopting planes scheduled to transfer to the reserve. The main reason - a costly service vehicles, much higher than the cost of using Lockheed U-2.

Then in 2013, the US Department of Defense has decided to allocate 1,2 billion for the purchase of aircraft 6 RQ-4 in the modification of Block 40 of the military budget in 525 billion.

Design RQ-4 Global Hawk



RQ-4 made by the normal aerodynamic scheme. The wing consists of a composite material which is based on carbon fiber. Tail V-tail consists of composite materials. The fuselage is a monocoque composed of aluminum alloys. Length - 13,3 meters, wingspan - 35 m and take-off weight - about 15 tons.

RQ-4 Global Hawk


The aircraft has an Allison Rolls-Royce AE3007H turbofan with a thrust of 31,4 kN and can carry a payload weighing up to 900 kilograms.



Set of aircraft consists of ground and air segments, service segments and trained personnel. With regard to air a segment, it includes BLPLA with different sensors, data transmission systems and avionics. The ground segment consists of services and equipment start-up, ground control systems with terrestrial communications equipment. All ground equipment to improve mobility is on special trailers or in containers.

RQ-4 Global Hawk

The RQ-4 Global Hawk is equipped with the HISAR integrated reconnaissance and surveillance system. This is a cheaper, simplified version of Hughes' ASARS-2 for the Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance aircraft. This complex is used on board the RC-7B UAV and is aimed at the international market. The complex also includes infrared and optical sensors, SAR / MTI radar. These subsystems can be used simultaneously, and their data is processed by one processor. They can be transmitted in real time to the ground via satellite channel or within line of sight (50 Mbps).

The radar was developed by Raytheon (Hughes). It is capable of working flawlessly in all weather conditions. It allows you to get a radar image in normal operation with a resolution of 1 m. According to statistics, you can get an image from the territory of 138 thousand square meters per day. m at a distance of 200 km. In spot mode, shooting an area of ​​2x2 kilometers, more than 1900 images with a resolution of 0,3 m Global Hawk can be obtained per day. The SAR / MTI subsystem operates in the X-band and is capable of providing:

  • detection and scanning moving targets within 100 km;
  • mode resolution detailing 1,8 10 square meters per square meters. km;
  • surveillance in combined mode with a resolution of 6 meters in length from the strip to 20 110 km wide 37 km.

The radar can detect ground moving objects and to provide data about them (speed and position) in text messages.

RQ-4 Global Hawk

Electron-optical camera made by Hughes. With it you can get high quality images. The sensor is associated with a telephoto lens having a telephoto lens with a distance 1750 mm. Used 2 modes: scanning 10 km of the image area 2h2 km.

Image with EO / IR sensors and processed by the radar on board the UAV in the form of individual frames is transmitted to a ground station. In turn, the ground station consists of image frames and prepares them for future use.

Inertial amended used for navigation. Global Hawk is used for free flight and transfer of intelligence through satellite channels to the ground station (VHF band and Ku). If the aircraft will be used in the line of sight, it is possible to transfer data directly to a suitable ground station.

RQ-4 Global Hawk Video

The ground segment, consisting of maintenance, launch and ground control systems, is also produced by Raytheon. MCE are designed for setting tasks, controlling and managing, transmitting and processing images. LRE is used to run RQ-4 Global Hawk, as well as searching. As part of the equipment is LRE for calculating corrections to the GPS system, which allows to determine the exact position of the UAV during landing and take-off. In the rest of the time, the main navigation means is the inertial system. During missions, LRE and MCE can be in different locations (usually the MCE is in the command location). These systems are located in fortified shelters, have outdoor antennas for satellite and direct communications.

RQ-4 Global Hawk

Modifications RQ-4 Global Hawk

  • AV - NASA in 2007 year it acquired two UAV for atmospheric research GloPac. In 2009 year renovations were completed. The modified aircraft could climb 20 km in height with a heavy scientific equipment on board (907 kg).

  • RQ-4A Global Hawk It is a basic modification.

- Block 10: All seven built UAV, which was written off 2011.

  • RQ-4B Global Hawk. This includes three versions:

- Block 20,

- Block 30,

- Block 40.

  • RQ-4E Euro Hawk a German modification RQ-4, developed concern aerospace corporation EADS and Northrop Grumman. In October 2009 year was presented to the market.

  • MQ-4C Triton a maritime patrol aircraft, built on the basis of RQ-4 Global Hawk. It has X-band radar designed to detect different surface ships, and is one of the extended maritime surveillance of the US Navy.

  • Polar Hawk - A modification that will go to the Canadian Armed Forces. It is based on Block 30. Airplane adapted for use even in very cold conditions. Can rise to a height of 18,3 thousand. M and within 33 hours to conduct uninterrupted observation.

RQ-4 Global Hawk

Application RQ-4 Global Hawk

The RQ-4 Global Hawk is the first UAV that managed to obtain permission from the US Federal Aviation Administration to send a flight task on its own and fly using civilian air corridors without additional notification.


Global Hawk cost and potential operators

The price of the aircraft is estimated to 140 million (does not include R & D costs). An hour of flight costs $ 31 thousand.

Canada is a potential buyer who wants to use aircraft to monitor remote areas of the Arctic. And the Global Hawk will supplement or replace the patrol CP-140 Aurora.

Japan was interested in three Global Hawk.

Spain has plans for the purchase of aircraft and with the company Northrop Grumman has already signed contracts.

New Zealand is also building its plans for RQ-4 Global Hawk, seeing it as a potential observation of the Pacific Islands and the Southern Ocean. Also, for these purposes can use the modern drone Kahu and IAI Heron.

RQ-4 Global Hawk features:

  • Crew: 0 on board (3 Remote Control: LRE pilot; MCE pilot and sensor operator)

  • Length: 47,6 m (14,5 m)

  • Wingspan: 130,9 feet (39,9 m)

  • Height: 15,3 m (4,7 m)

  • Net weight: 14950 kg (6781 kg)

  • Gross weight: 32250 kg (14628 kg)

  • Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce F137-RR-100 turbofan, 7600 lbf (34 kN) of thrust

  • Cruising speed: 357 miles / h (310 kN; 575 km / h)

  • Range: 8700 miles (7560 NMI; 14001 km)

  • Endurance: 28 hours Ceiling: 60000 ft (18288 m)


Other UAVs


Engine - not TVDD and turbofan engines (or DTRD as it pleases)