US deployed two Global Hawk drones on Misawa airbase in Northern Japan

May 31, 2014 12:07 IST

The US Air Force on 30 May 2014 deployed two Global Hawks on Misawa airbase in Northern Japan. Global Hawk is an advanced long-distance surveillance drones.

Global Hawks drones will remain at Misawa Air Base, located some 590 kilometers northeast of Tokyo, until October 2014. They will remain here until the typhoon season at the drones' home, Andersen Air Force Base, on the Guam islands in the western Pacific gets over.

The first Global Hawk flew to Japan from its home base on 24 May 2014, while the second arrived in Misawa on 28 May 2014. The two vehicles are expected to start operating in the Asia-Pacific region in early June 2014.

 

Japan’s government is now planning to buy three US Global Hawk drones, because deployment of these vehicles will help the country to familiarize itself with the aircraft.

Analysis

The deployment of two drones is seen as US commitment to provide security to Asia as part of its rebalancing of forces to the Pacific. This will enhance the ability of USA Air Force to monitor nuclear activities in North Korea and Chinese naval operations.

About Global Hawk

The Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) surveillance aircraft. It was initially designed by Ryan Aeronautical and known as Tier II+ during development.

In role and operational design, the Global Hawk is similar to the Lockheed U-2.

It is able to fly at a maximum height of 18.3 km and can fly continuously for 24 hours.

The Global Hawk is operated by the United States Air Force and U.S. Navy. It is used as a high-altitude platform for surveillance and security. Missions for the Global Hawk cover the spectrum of intelligence collection capability to support forces in worldwide military operations.

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