Procurement: February 9, 2004

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Australia is buying a dozen U.S. RQ-4A Global Hawk UAVs for over $70 million each. This is a sharp increase in cost from the current cost of $35 million. The current Global Hawk has a large number of sensors on it, including a video camera that gives high resolution pictures with 12 inch resolution (objects a foot across can be identified.) A Global Hawk crossed the Pacific, from the West Coast of the United States to Australia, in 2001. The entire trip was programmed in the aircraft's navigation computer before take-off. Australia has vast coastal frontiers to watch, plus a huge, empty interior that often has to be watched for enormous bush fires. The first Australian Global Hawk will enter service in 2009. 


 


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