Navy’s Global Hawks Finally Come Home After Unexpected 13-Year Deployment

The Navy’s Global Hawks Finally Come Home After Unexpected 13-Year Deployment. Last week, the US Navy sent home one of its most valuable assets – the RQ-4 Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicles that have spent almost three decades and only six months of downtime over the past 13 years flying unmanned reconnaissance missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen among other countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

The importance of their journey

The Navy’s unmanned MQ-4C Triton surveillance planes have been deployed to areas near Iraq and Syria since 2007, almost a year before they were originally expected to end their voyage. As a major asset to the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstrator/BAMS-D the MQ-4C Triton surveillance planes have far exceeded expectations, and the celebration of them coming home is nothing to take lightly. 

How it works

The BAMS-D aircraft is a modified Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) equipped with advanced sensors. The aircraft will provide persistent surveillance, reconnaissance and intelligence-gathering capability over a broad area of ocean. It also provides maritime domain awareness for combatant commanders worldwide, supporting maritime battlespace awareness for Navy commands in support of Joint Forces.

Why the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstrator program matters

Though the U.S. Navy has been using unmanned aerial vehicles since the Vietnam War, it has only recently begun to take full advantage of their capabilities. The Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstrator program, or BAMS-D, which uses these unmanned systems to watch the waters from above, demonstrates the Navy’s vision for the future of naval warfare. Developed by Northrop Grumman Corp., BAMS-D sends out swarms of drones that can cover vast areas quickly, automatically directing other drones to investigate and intervene as necessary. The purpose of these aircraft is to support commanders at sea. As threats in our world change, and as new technologies emerge, they need to remain adaptable and open-minded. This is one area where an if it’s not broken, don’t fix it approach doesn’t work—it’s their job to stay flexible, cost effective and ahead of the rapidly changing global environment. 

A minor but important role 

Manned or unmanned, it is a great thing to see United State assets come home safety. Having done so much for this country these UAV’s deserve the best in shelter in order to rest up and have the proper maintenance applied. Our team here at Big Top Manufacturing are thrilled to see one of our shelters being utilized as the chosen shelter for these craft, and so many more like it.

We encourage you to read more on this milestone for BAMSD and learn more about these craft at:
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