GE-Aviation announced on August 14 that it is under contract to supply flight control actuation, electrical power generation & control, emergency power and other aircraft systems for use on the RQ-4 'Block 20' Global Hawk unmanned reconnaissance aircraft.
RQ-4 Block 20 Global Hawk is a high-altitude, long-endurance, unmanned reconnaissance aircraft that provides military field commanders with high-resolution, near real-time imagery of large geographic areas. The first RQ-4 Block 20 aircraft was delivered to Beale Air Force Base, Calif., on June 30, 2008.
"GE provided significant fuselage systems to the first RQ-4 'Block 10' Global Hawk aircraft," said John Ferrie, President of GE's Aviation Systems. "GE's technology was selected to provide additional electromechanical actuation and electrical power generation & conversion subsystems to support the more advanced RQ-4 Block 20 which requires 150% more electrical output than the RQ-4 Block 10 aircraft."
To date, GE is contracted to supply systems content worth approximately $1 million per RQ-4 Block 20. GE was selected to fabricate proprietary, redundant electromechanical actuation (EMA) for the next-generation 'Block 20' Global Hawk aircraft. Fourteen, dual-motor EMAs comprise the RQ-4 Block 20 system. The work will be performed at GE's facilities in Santa Ana, Calif., Vandalia, Ohio and Whippany, N.J.
GE was also selected to provide a new electrical power generation subsystem for the larger RQ-4 Block 20 version. GE designed and fabricated a system consisting of a self-contained, high-speed variable frequency generator, a liquid-cooled converter/generator control unit, and a regulated/transformer rectifier unit.