Bredonosec> уже писалось не раз - их выпущены единицы (что-то менее 2 десятков), они ни разу не применялись в БД, поскольку им вечно то погода плохая (слишком турбулентен воздух, сломаются), то аэродром недотсаточно стерильный, то еще что. При этом они стоят ликое бабло, и конгресс давно точит зубы на эту дорогую бесполезную игрушшку пентагона.
Ага, если бы все так просто.
Сначала даем слово ненавистнику ( http://www.strategypage.com/dls/...
) издания 2012 г.:
The U.S. Air Force has stopped buying the RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV. Ten of the 31 Block 30 models ordered were cancelled. None of the planned Block 40 aircraft will be built. Global Hawk will remain in production, as the U.S. Navy is buying 68 of their MQ-4C BAMS (Broad Area Maritime Surveillance) model. // (Усёёёё! Приплыыыли!)
Increasingly, the air force and the manufacturer (Northrop Grumman) of the RQ-4 have been feuding over design, cost, and quality control issues. The latest issue was the unreliability of the new Block 30 models. // (Во каку подсунули!)
Ну и так далее. А потом, внезапно...
A year ago, the U.S. Air Force transferred its remaining seven early model (Block 10) RQ-4s to other government agencies. These UAVs began flying nearly a decade ago and each has spent, on average, some 3,000 hours in the air. Some have spent over 7,000 hours in the air, while others have mostly stayed on the ground. On average, these Block 10 aircraft flew once a week. But some 90 percent of hours flown were in combat operations. Subsequent models (Block 20, 30, and 40) had greater carrying capacity and reliability.
Не были на БД, ага.
Теперь, перематываем вперед 2 года ( Northrop: Global Hawk Sets Flying Hours Record | Defense News | defensenews.com
The Air Force spent the last three years trying to retire the Global Hawk, only to be blocked by Congress. (// Попииииииил!) In the 2015 budget, the Air Force relented and moved to instead cut the U-2 spy plane; that decision has also faced resistance from the Hill.
What caused the flip in positions? (// Расскажите, интересно) The service points to a drop in cost per flying hour for the Global Hawk, one driven primarily by increased flying hours for the unmanned machine. In fiscal 2012, Air Force cost per flying hour for the Global Hawk was about $32,000, comparable to the U-2. In fiscal 2013, Global Hawk’s cost dropped to $24,000. If the Air Force continues to use the Global Hawk at anywhere near these February figures, expect to see that total drop even more.
Ну и в 2015-м мы видим, что налет продолжает расти ( Global Hawk flies record mission hours - News - Shephard
Mick Jaggers, Global Hawk UAS program director, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, said: 'There are at least two Global Hawks in the air at all times providing indispensable ISR information to those that need it.'
He added: 'The 2014 fiscal year was the most active yet for the Global Hawk, with a 40% year over year increase in flight hours.
The company had previously achieved a weekly flight record of 665 hours in February. Within a week of accomplishing its record, two new RQ-4 Global Hawks were delivered to the air force: a wide area surveillance model on 10 September and a multi-INT model on 3 October.
With this increase in fleet size and flight hours, combatant commanders will get more ISR capabilities at a time when demand is often higher than aircraft availability. The new models bring the fleet size to 33. An agreement for three more units was signed in August, and they are scheduled for delivery in 2016 and 2017.
Ага, ну то есть все как ненавистник описывал: ВВС закупает "морские" Хоки. Оно и понятно, они же дешевле чем отдельная версия, и моряки поглотили всю стоимость разработки для новых РЛС.
По поводу "вечно погода плохая", есть данные, и, конечно, не в пользу Хока ( Global Hawk, U-2 Duel Resumes in ’15 Budget Fight | AWIN content from Aviation Week
In the Pacific, 55% of Global Hawk’s missions were canceled in fiscal 2013; 96% of the U-2′s missions were achieved. The U-2 was also scheduled for nearly three times as many missions. Global Hawk lacks anti-icing equipment and is not able to operate in severe weather. An upgrade to remedy the shortcoming is being developed by the Navy for its Triton Global Hawk variant, but it would cost money and time to field.
Additionally, the service originally opted to terminate the aircraft because of the lackluster performance by its Raytheon Enhanced Integrated Sensor Suite—the camera used to collect visual, infrared, and radar images. Global Hawk also flies at a lower altitude—typically close to 50,000 ft.—making it more susceptible to some weather and offering less-than-optimal ranges for peering into an enemy’s territory. The U-2, by contrast, operates above 60,000 ft., and has nearly twice as much onboard power at the ready for collecting radar images.
То есть не только старая РЛС была дрянь, так еще Хок эшелоном не вышел.
Конечно ни о чем из этого ненавистники не написали - хотя оно объясняет как "морские" Хоки заинтересовали ВВС.
В общем теперь должно быть понятно, как "конгресс давно точит зубы на эту дорогую бесполезную игрушку" ( WASHINGTON: Once targeted, Global Hawk drone now hidden weapon in U.S. airstrikes | National Security & Defense | McClatchy DC
After an intense lobbying battle, however, Northrop prevailed with the help of some powerful friends in Congress, including California Republican Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee in whose district the aircraft is assembled. It didn’t hurt that the production costs of the Global Hawk had declined. Congress ordered the Air Force to keep buying the aircraft.
То есть все скорее полностью наоборот.