Northrop Grumman Corp. said Wednesday its unmanned RQ-4 Global Hawks, made by the company’s division in Rancho Bernardo, set a record for mission hours flown in one week, logging 665 hours during a week in late February.

A Northrup Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk flying over mountains and desert. Photo courtesy Northrup Grumman

The weekly record is 53 percent above last year’s average. It’s the equivalent of almost four Global Hawks in the air around the clock for an entire week.

The company said the system’s increased flight hours combined with stable support costs are driving down flight-hour costs. The Air Force reported that for 2013, Global Hawk cost per hour fell almost 30 percent compared to 2012 and continues to drop.

The Air Force has 32 Global Hawks in service around the globe.

“Global Hawk is in operation today, setting performance records that are benefitting customers around the world,” said Mick Jaggers, program director for the Global Hawk unmanned aircraft systems. “Effective, cost-efficient intelligence is in demand, and our teams deliver this to the Air Force, Navy, NASA and other customers every day.”

— From a Northrup Grumman press release

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.