Flight testing of the MS-177 sensor payload on an RQ-4 Global Hawk has started say Northrop Grumman.

The company say that the flight tests mark the first time the sensor has been flown on a high altitude long-range autonomous aircraft.

The MS-177 sensor is reportedly designed to provide capabilities to not only “find” targets using broad area search and different sensing technologies, but to also fix, track, and assess targets through its agility and multiple sensing modalities.

Mick Jaggers, vice president and program manager, Global Hawk program, Northrop Grumman said:

“The MS-177 is the new benchmark in imaging intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance [ISR] sensors and its integration into the Global Hawk platform expands the mission capability we can provide.

This successful flight is another milestone in an aggressive effort to demonstrate Global Hawk’s versatility and effectiveness in carrying a variety of sensor payloads and support establishing OMS compliance.”

A press release adds:

“The Global Hawk system is the premier provider of persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information.

Able to fly at high altitudes for greater than 30 hours, Global Hawk is designed to gather near-real-time, high-resolution imagery of large areas of land in all types of weather – day or night.”

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