Global Hawk Enterprise

The Global Hawk Enterprise is a family of high-flying HALE Unmanned Systems, including NATO AGS and Triton.

unmanned military aircraft flying in the sky

A Family of High-Altitude, Long-Endurance Systems

The family of high-flying HALE Unmanned Systems builds on the common RQ-4 Global Hawk airframe. When equipped with a variety of available mission-specific sensors, they provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) information over a vast geographic area without putting anyone in harm's way. Global Hawk missions are to provide a broad spectrum of ISR collection capability to support joint combatant forces in worldwide peacetime, contingency and wartime operations.

The systems can also be used for various civil and commercial missions such as border patrol, port surveillance, hurricane monitoring, disaster relief support and high-altitude scientific research. The systems complement manned and space reconnaissance systems by providing near-real-time coverage using radar, imagery intelligence (IMINT) sensors, signals intelligence (SIGINT) and communications relay capability.

Global Hawk Family

Global Hawk's World Records

  • April 23, 2001: Global Hawk became the first unmanned, powered aircraft to cross the world's largest ocean when it landed in Australia at 8:40 p.m. local time after a 23-hour, 20-minute trip across the Pacific Ocean.
  • March 29, 2013: Global Hawk set the endurance record for a full-scale, operational unmanned aircraft when it completed a 34.3 hour flight at altitudes up to 60,000 feet based out of Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota. The pilots and crew were all women, which all set a record for the longest all-female Global Hawk flight.
Collier Award Trophy


  • Dr. James G. Roche Sustainment Excellence Award: For an unprecedented three years in a row, the RQ-4 Global Hawk program received this prestigious award from the U.S. Air Force for demonstrating the most improved performance in aircraft maintenance and logistics readiness for fiscal years 2012, 2013 and 2014. Global Hawk showed significant improvements in aircraft availability, mission capability and total non-mission capability for maintenance and supply.
  • U.S. Air Force Safety Record: Global Hawk has been designated as the platform with the best safety record in the U.S. Air Force in 2013.
  • Robert J. Collier Trophy (shown here): In 2000, Northrop Grumman along with key government and industry partners received this coveted trophy for designing, building, testing, and operating Global Hawk.
  • Airworthiness Certification: Global Hawk is the first UAS to achieve a military airworthiness certification, which along with the certificate of authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration, recognizes Global Hawk's ability to routinely fly within national airspace.

Global Hawk Family in the News

Northrop Grumman Delivers Fourth Triton to U.S. Navy for Initial Operational Capability

unmanned aircraft landing on runway

Northrop Grumman RQ-4 RangeHawk Supports NASA’s Artemis Mission

aircraft on runway at sunrise

Northrop Grumman Unveils First Australian MQ-4C Triton

unmanned aircraft landing on runway

NATO RQ-4D Phoenix Achieves Major Milestone with Full System Handover

aircraft inflight against blue sky

Northrop Grumman Completes Ferry Flight of Japan’s RQ-4B Global Hawk

unmanned aircraft flying in blue skies

Northrop Grumman Completes Successful First Flight of Japan’s Second RQ-4B Global Hawk

aircraft flying against a blue sky

Northrop Grumman Completes Successful First Flight of Japan’s RQ-4B Global Hawk

aircraft inflight against blue sky

NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Force Achieves Initial Operating Capability

aircraft inflight against blue sky

Northrop Grumman Maritime Autonomous System Surpasses 40,000 Flight Hours

Global Hawk Media Contact

Melissa Dolan