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Go-ahead for the development of the Euro Hawk«

  • Development contract signed after approval of the German Budget Committee
  • German Air Force to deploy Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for reconnaissance tasks

Munich, 01 February 2007

The German Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a €430 million contract to EuroHawk GmbH, a joint venture company formed by EADS and Northrop Grumman Corporation, for the development, test and support of the Euro Hawk® unmanned signals intelligence (SIGINT) surveillance and reconnaissance system.

The Euro Hawk® Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is a Northrop Grumman-produced US Air Force RQ-4 Block 20 Global Hawk derivative equipped with a new SIGINT mission system developed by EADS. The SIGINT system provides stand-off capability to detect electronic intelligence (ELINT) radar emitters and communications intelligence (COMINT) emitters EADS will also provide the ground stations that will receive and analyse the data from Euro Hawk® as part of an integrated system solution for the German customer. Delivery of the first demonstrator is scheduled for 2010. Planned delivery of the following four UAVs is scheduled between 2011 and 2014. The Euro Hawk® systems will replace the aging fleet of Breguet Atlantic aircraft, which have been in service since 1972.

Stefan Zoller, Member of the EADS Executive Committee for Defence & Security Systems, welcomed the German Budget Committee approval: "This decision is a further step forward in our transatlantic cooperation. With Euro Hawk® the German Air Force will be able to cover its own future reconnaissance requirement with ground breaking technology, thus enabling the German Air Force to assume control of its intelligence activities. This gained information superiority is a decisive contribution towards improving the safety of our troops in the field. Furthermore, Euro Hawk® is convincing proof of how the Bundeswehr is transforming and acquiring network enhanced capabilities. With this project being realized, UAV technology takes a remarkable step forward in Europe."

The Head of the Military Air Systems Business Unit, Johann Heitzmann, stressed: "Our most important aim will be to deliver Euro Hawk® in top quality and on time to our customer. Through the first-class technology of this reconnaissance system, the German Air Force will be even more able to fulfil its mission in the future."

Scott J. Seymour, President of Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector, added: "This programme has been a major collaborative effort and Northrop Grumman is committed to ensuring Euro Hawk® is a continued success story in the history of transatlantic cooperation.”

Euro Hawk® is controlled by ground-based operators and is projected for up to 30 hours of uninterrupted flight. This unmanned aerial vehicle has a maximum takeoff weight of about 14 tonnes and can reach a speed 555 km/h. It is approx. 14 m long and has a wingspan of about 40 m. It is a HALE UAV (High Altitude Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) and will operate at altitudes of up to 20 km.

The six successful flights conducted in October of 2003 at the German Naval Base in Nordholz demonstrated the technical feasibility of using an unmanned platform carrying an ELINT type sensor to conduct wide area surveillance missions. The Global Hawk ELINT demo was also the first successful operation of a UAV in controlled European airspace, paving the way for further developments of unmanned flight in Europe.

The EuroHawk GmbH 50-50 joint venture was founded on 3 November 2005 and has its registered offices in Immenstaad, Germany. It is responsible for the development and manufacturing of the Euro Hawk® systems and will act as the national prime contractor for the German MoD through the system's entire lifecycle. Under this contract, the EuroHawk GmbH will also provide aircraft modifications, mission control and launch and recovery ground segments, flight test, and logistics support.

EADS Defence & Security Systems(DS) is a system solution provider. It combines military air systems, missile systems, communications and intelligence systems, global security solutions as well as sensor and avionics systems into a single effective network. With 2005 revenues of €5.6 billion, the Division employs 23,000. EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2005, EADS generated revenues of €34.2 billion and employed a workforce of about 113,000.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.


Alexander Reinhardt
EADS Defence & Security Systems
Tel.: +49 (0)89 3179 4646
mailto: alexander.reinhardt@eads.com

Theodor Benien
EADS Defence & Security Systems
Tel.: +49 (0)89 607 32822
mailto: theodor.benien@eads.com

Cynthia Curiel
Northrop Grumman Corporation
Tel.: +1 (858) 618-4355
mailto: cynthia.curiel@ngc.com

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