The Air Force plans to test a new radar for the much-in-demand Global Hawk high-flying reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle using a manned stand-in—the Proteus, a twin turbofan high altitude multi-mission aircraft similar in size to Global Hawk. The Electronic Systems Center, Hanscom AFB, Mass., has a year-long test laid out for the smaller Block 40 version of the radar, developed under the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program, that ESD expects to equip Global Hawk. The ESC-led government-contractor team already has flight-tested Proteus carrying the pod that will house the new radar and test equipment and expects to incorporate the radar on the aircraft in September. If all goes well, the team will continue evaluation of the radar aboard a Global Hawk. The Air Force wants to begin fielding the MP-RTIP-equipped UAV in 2011.
While some of the Air Force's newly announced changes will happen quickly, it may take most of Chief of Staff Gen. David W. Allvin's tenure in the job to accomplish the rest, he said in a Brookings Institution event Feb. 28.