NATO RQ-4 Headed to Edwards

The 412th Test Wing at Edwards AFB, Calif., will conduct the flight testing and envelope expansion of NATO’s first Alliance Ground Surveillance program RQ-4B Global Hawk, officials announced. Northrop Grumman unveiled NATO 1, the first of five Global Hawks slated for delivery to the Alliance, earlier this month in Palmdale, Calif. The aircraft is based on the Air Force’s Block? 40 ground-moving, target-tracking variant equipped with the MP-RTIP sensor suite. NATO 1 will likely be transferred to Edwards this summer to begin testing, after which it will be delivered to its planned operational location at Sigonella AB, Italy, in early 2016. A total of 15 NATO member states are taking part in AGS procurement, manufacture, and delivery, and all 28 partners will contribute to AGS operations.