Global Hawk can be used for hurricanes

Published 6:09 pm Friday, August 29, 2008

Northrop Grumman officials say the company’s unmanned aerial vehicle could be launched to assist emergency workers if a hurricane threatened the Gulf Coast.

Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk is currently used by the Air Force for surveillance overseas.

Its fuselages are built at Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems in Moss Point.

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Ed Walby, business director for the Global Hawk program, says the company could use some of its Global Hawks to search for “chokepoints” that delay hurricane evacuation.

He also says the aircraft could be used in search and rescue missions after a storm.

In 2009, Walby says NASA will begin test-flying Global Hawks to use for hurricane tracking in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.