THE GLOBAL HAWK
This is a photo of the Global Hawk UAV that returned from the war zone recently under its own power. (Iraq to Edwards AFB in CA) – Not transported via C5 or C17….. Notice the mission paintings on the fuselage. It totals over 250 missions.That’s a lot for a remotely-piloted aircraft. Think of the technology (and required data link to fly it remotely). Also, the pilot flew The Global Hawk from a nice warm control panel at Edwards AFB. The Global Hawk can stay airborne for almost two days at altitudes above 60,000 ft. It’s controlled via satellite; it flew missions during OT&E that went from Edwards AFB to upper Alaska and back —non-stop. Basically, The Global Hawk comes into a fight at a high speed,fires its AMRAAMS, and no one ever sees the aircraft or even paints it with radar. There is practically no radio chatter because all the guys involved in the flight are tied together electronically, and can see who is targeting what, and they have AWACS direct input and 360 situational awareness from that and other sensors. The aggressors had a morale problem before it was all over. It is to air superiority, what the jet engine was to piston slapper aviation. The Global Hawk can taxi, take off, fly a mission, return, land and taxi all on its own. No blackouts, no fatigue, no relief tubes, no ejection seats , and best of all, no dead pilots…no POWs? I’d say that’s pretty cool! Happy 4th Everyone.