Air Force officials with the Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom AFB, Mass., announced Tuesday that the service’s sophisticated new airborne radar system, known as MP-RTIP, recently arrived at Edwards AFB, Calif., for its next phase of testing. There, MP-RTIP will be integrated on a RQ-4 Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft. Northrop Grumman and Raytheon build the radar, which has been tested in 259 flights to date aboard Northrop’s Proteus aircraft, which has been serving as a Global Hawk surrogate. “We have made significant progress in the development of the sensor and are pleased with its performance,” said Col. Jim Shaw, MP-RTIP program director at Hanscom. Testing at Edwards will include assessing the simultaneous operation of the radar’s ground moving target indication mode and its synthetic aperture radar. Under current planning, the Air Force will operate MP-RTIP on Global Hawk Block 40 aircraft. (Hanscom report by Patty Welsh)
An Air Force C-17 transport jet recently tested a new technology that could help aviators stay on course even if the satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS) that much of modern-day aviation relies on is compromised.