The first of three Northrop Grumman RQ-4B Block 30 Global Hawk UASs have arrived at Andersen AFB on the western Pacific island of Guam in the lead up to being declared operational early next year.
The Block 30 is the USAF’s signals intelligence (SIGINT) version of the Global Hawk and is tasked to conduct electronic reconnaissance missions around foreign borders and naval fleets in the region.
“The minute that sensor package gets checked out and it’s turned over, there will probably not be a minute that that system is not being utilised for something in this (area),” said Lt Gen Herbert Carlisle, commander of the USAF’s 13th Air Force. “And… on a single flight it will be doing many, many different things.”
The US Navy also plans to base its MQ-4C version of the Global Hawk on Guam, providing it with a high altitude, continuous radar and electro optical/infra red reconnaissance capability in the region.
“It’s entirely possible that the Navy and the Air Force will bed those down together because they’re complimentary,” Carlisle added.