ISR For Hurricanes

Northrop Grumman says that it ran an exercise in which it used one of its Global Hawk UAVs to reconnoiter an area stricken by a major hurricane—this was two weeks before Hurricane Katrina made landfall, destroying much of the Gulf Coast. Northrop’s Ed Walby told attendees at AFA’s conference that the company was “basically thinking of different” ways to employ the high-flying, long endurance Global Hawk. He did not know whether USAF had actually considered using it, but he noted it would have flown at 60,000 feet, well above numerous airlift and search and rescue aircraft. He said Global Hawk has a certificate from the FAA to fly anywhere in the US.