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  • What makes a Global Hawk into a BAMS?
    Posted by Graham Warwick 7:28 PM on Apr 23, 2008

    Surprisingly few airframe changes are needed to make Northrop Grumman's Global Hawk into the US Navy's Broad Area Maritime Surveillance System, although the RQ-4N will have a different mission profile than the US Air Force's RQ-4B. This includes the need for "altitude agility" -- the ability to descend to take a closer look at a ship, then climb back to surveillance altitude.

    "Marinisation" of the Block 20 Global Hawk for BAMS includes strengthening the composite wing to take the higher airloads, beefing up the leading edges to withstand birdstrikes and adding an electro-expulsive ice protection system. The new Ka-band military-satcom radome is also bird-proofed, and hardpoints are added for underwing payloads.

    The other changes predictably center on all the BAMS-unique payload stuff -- Northrop's MFAS 360deg-scan active-array radar under the belly; Raytheon's MTS-B EO/IR sensor on the nose; CDL and Link 16 datalinks; and a collision-avoidance radar. Despite all this, BAMS will look pretty much like a Global Hawk...

    Tags: ar99, NorthropGrumman, RQ-4, GlobalHawk, UAV, USNavy

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