March 4, 2003: Global Hawk “Reachback Demonstration” Ground and Flight Test Concluded

  • Published
  • 452d Flight Test Squadron

The Global Hawk “Reachback Demonstration” ground and flight test comes to a successful conclusion. Testing was performed by the 452d Flight Test Squadron (452 FLTS). As assessed in the Final Report of Results, “The Reachback operational concept was successfully demonstrated by controlling a Global Hawk air vehicle (at Edwards AFB) with an MCE (at Beale AFB) connected to a tactical field terminal (TFT) (at Langley AFB) using a terrestrial Wide Area Network (WAN).”

UAVs include both autonomous (capable of operating without human input) drones and remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs). A UAV is capable of controlled, sustained level flight and is powered by a jet, reciprocating, or electric engine.  In the twenty first century technology reached a point of sophistication that the UAV is now being given a greatly expanded role in many areas of aviation.  A UAV differs from a cruise missile in that a UAV is intended to be recovered after its mission, while a cruise missile impacts its target. A military UAV may carry and fire munitions on board, while a cruise missile is a munition.

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