Skip to comments.Navy extends Northrop drone's stint in Persian Gulf by one year
Posted on 07/13/2010 10:13:02 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
The U.S. Navy has extended by one year the time its first high-altitude drone will monitor oil shipments and other maritime activity in the Persian Gulf region, according to officials.
Northrop Grumman Corp. built the plane, a demonstration version of its Global Hawk that's used by the Air Force, as the first model in a $9 billion Navy program for 68 unmanned planes to provide reconnaissance in five areas of the world.
The aircraft has been flying over the Gulf region since February 2009 and was slated to end its patrols this year to undergo additional stateside testing and development. The U.S. 5th Fleet has asked the stint be extended.
The drone "has significantly improved maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance" in the region, 5th Fleet spokeswoman Commander Amy Derrick-Frost said in a July 12 e-mail.
The Gulf is a source of constant tension. Almost a quarter of the world's oil flows through the Strait of Hormuz, a 33- mile-wide waterway at its mouth between Iran and Oman. The Navy drone is part of an international task force that includes aircraft of the U.S. 5th Fleet, which is based in Bahrain.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailyherald.com ...
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