The German Air Force (Luftwaffe) has ordered a variant of the RQ-4B equipped with German sensors, dubbed EuroHawk. It combines a normal RQ-4B airframe with an EADS reconnaissance payload.
The aircraft is based on the Block 20/30/40 RQ-4B, but will be equipped with EADS’ SIGINT package to fulfil Germany’s desire to replace their aging Dassault-Breguet Atlantique electronic surveillance aircraft. That sensor package comes in the form of six wing mounted pods, a first for the Global Hawk. The EuroHawk was officially rolled out on October 8, 2009 and first flight took place on June 29, 2010. It underwent several months of flight testing at Edwards Air Force Base before flying to Germany.
On July 21, 2011, the first EuroHawk arrived in Manching, Germany where it will be equipped with the SIGINT sensor package. There it is also slated to undergo more testing and pilot training, until the first quarter of 2012, when it will be officially handed over to the Luftwaffe to be stationed with the Reconnaissance Wing 51.
The costs for the initial five aircraft are approx. €430 million for the development, and €430 million for the actual procurement.
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|USA||Northrop Grumman||Los Angeles, California||http://www.northropgrumman.com|