The Global Hawk, a tough, tech-packed spy drone

Washington (AFP) - The Global Hawk drone shot down by Iran on Thursday is a high-altitude surveillance flying device capable of transmitting high-resolution images in real time for more than thirty hours at a time .

Entered service in 2001, the RQ-4 Global Hawk has been used by the US Air Force in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, usually flown remotely from the air base of Beale, Calif., or Grand Forks, North Dakota.

The Air Force is now equipped with the most modern variant of this drone - the RQ-4B - and has resold its older models to the US Navy , while waiting for the maritime variant of the drone - the MQ-4 Triton - to be fully operational, we learned from the US Navy.

It is one of those older Navy-operated aircraft that was shot down over the Arabian Sea, the US Navy said, without being able to 'Immediately indicate where the drone had been launched from and which unit was controlling it.

It is a big black craft with a rounded nose which gives it the air of a winged dolphin.14.5 meters long, with wings with a wingspan of 39.9 meters, it is equipped sophisticated radar and very high definition cameras, according to its manufacturer, the American aeronautical group Northrop Grumman.

"The high resolution image quality makes it possible to distinguish various types of vehicles, planes, people and missiles, and to do so in any weather, day or night," Northrop Grumman says on his site.

It gathers intelligence from a very high altitude (60,000 feet, or 18,300 meters), which theoretically protects it from attacks from the ground.And, since its charge is very high.s light (1.5 tonnes, or the weight of a car), it has a range of 12,300 nautical miles, or 22,780 km, and can fly continuously for 32 hours, according to its manufacturer.

Posted Date: 2021-01-19

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