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DARPA KQ-X (Global Hawk)

Unmanned Aerial Refueling Tanker Demonstrator Vehicle

DARPA KQ-X (Global Hawk)

Unmanned Aerial Refueling Tanker Demonstrator Vehicle

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



Two Northrop Grumman Global Hawk UAVs participated in NASA research regarding UAVs and inflight refuleing.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United States
YEAR: 2012
STATUS: In-Development
MANUFACTURER(S): Northrop Grumman / NASA - USA
PRODUCTION: 2
OPERATORS: United States
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the DARPA KQ-X (Global Hawk) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 0
LENGTH: 44.42 feet (13.54 meters)
WIDTH: 116.17 feet (35.41 meters)
HEIGHT: 15.16 feet (4.62 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 8,488 pounds (3,850 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 22,928 pounds (10,400 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Allison Rolls-Royce AE3007H turbofan engine developing 7,000 lb of thrust.
SPEED (MAX): 497 miles-per-hour (800 kilometers-per-hour; 432 knots)
RANGE: 15,534 miles (25,000 kilometers; 13,499 nautical miles)
CEILING: 65,617 feet (20,000 meters; 12.43 miles)




ARMAMENT



None. Only internal fuel stores.
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• KQ-X - Project Designation; 2 x Northrop Grumman Global Hawk UAVs are being utilized by NASA in the testing.


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the DARPA KQ-X (Global Hawk) Unmanned Aerial Refueling Tanker Demonstrator Vehicle.  Entry last updated on 4/4/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
KQ-X is a program designation commissioned by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) of the United States to modify a pair of existing NASA Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles for research into Autonomous Aerial Refueling practices and feasibility. A $33 million contract was awarded to Northrop Grumman for the program requirements which have involved installation of a hose-and-drogue assembly arrangement in which one Global Hawk would act as the aerial refueling tanker whilst the other Global Hawk would become the target aircraft to be refueled. The benefits of such a program are obvious, allowing for completely autonomous function of a UAV design without any required human interaction. It is estimated that the addition of in-flight refueling with Global Hawk UAVs could add as much as one week of uninterrupted flight for the product.

In August of 2012, it was announced that the pair of Global Hawks had completed a close-formation flight. The flights were undertaken back in May of 2012. Contrary to the normal arrangement of the hose-and-drogue fuel delivery system currently in use by fixed-wing aircraft (in which the receiving aircraft tailed the refueler), the KQ-X program is utilizing a receiver aircraft situated ahead and above the trailing tanker, the hose being lowered to the awaiting tanker. The tanker aircraft was identified by its long nose probe used in collecting sensitive mission data. The twin aircraft were put through all manner of close-ranged positions in the testing.

The second phase of testing has since been placed on hold as the Global Hawks were reverted back to NASA specifications for the upcoming hurricane season. Post-October, the Global Hawks will be reverted once again back to the KQ-X configuration for additional testing concerning Phase 2.




MEDIA









Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 500mph
Lo: 250mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (497mph).

    Graph average of 375 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LDN
LDN
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MSK
MSK
 
  TKY
TKY
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the DARPA KQ-X (Global Hawk)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
2
2

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue