The U.S. Navy’s small fleet of large unmanned surveillance aircraft is getting more work, the Pentagon announced Sept. 6.
Northrop Grumman, which built the aircraft, received a contract worth up to $10 million to increase the “operational tempo” of the Navy’s two RQ-4A Global Hawks, known formally as Broad Area Maritime Surveillance–Demonstrator (BAMS-D) aircraft, the Department of Defense said. The contract, which runs until May, will support additional operations and maintenance services that will increase the number of BAMS-D missions to 15 a month, up from nine.
The Navy has been flying the BAMS-D aircraft since 2009 to collect intelligence for deployed sea-based forces and to provide training and testing. The high-altitude, long-endurance aircraft have a wingspan of 116 feet and can stay aloft for more than 30 hours.
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