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Northrop Grumman, L-3 MAS to develop Polar Hawk drone for Canadian Arctic

Northrop Grumman Corporation and L-3 MAS will join forces on a variant of the Northrop Grumman-produced Global Hawk high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for Canada to maintain continuous surveillance of its Arctic territories.

Rendering of Polar Hawk system. Click to enlarge.

Dubbed “Polar Hawk,” the system will be designed to stay aloft for long periods of time in harsh weather conditions over vast expanses of the Earth‘s surface monitoring land, ice, littoral and open water environments throughout the Arctic.

Flying at 60,000 feet, well above challenging weather and all commercial air traffic, Polar Hawk can range over 22,000 kilometers and stay airborne for more than 33 hours, day or night in all weather conditions.

In addition to its surveillance payloads, Polar Hawk has the power to support and can be equipped with a wide range of instrumentation for conducting science and environmental missions, as demonstrated by NASA using earlier versions of the Global Hawk UAS as far as 85 degrees north latitude. It can also be deployed to support humanitarian missions and provide surveillance over Canada’s vast territory stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific territorial waters and coasts.

L-3 MAS, a division of L-3's Integrated Systems Group, is among Canada’s leading providers of aircraft life-cycle extension services, aircraft in-service support services and aerostructures to government and commercial customers.



This may be a better idea than 65 F-35 @ $35B. They could be stationed in Northern Alberta where liquid (tar sand) fuel is plenty.


Question - what type surveillance does this thing do at 60k NOT possible from low orbit?? It flies above weather and has to come down every day and a half - what's the big deal??

Henry Gibson

What about a micro dirigible that can stay aloft for weeks. Modern composite materials can be used now. ..HG..


Ultra light electric planes could do very well (24/7) during the summer months with very long sunshine hours?


Electric planes with a long inflatable light air balloon under the fuselage could keep the e-airplane afloat and more or less stationary during sunless hours. The stored solar energy could be used for other primary purposes.

what type surveillance does this thing do at 60k NOT possible from low orbit??
Watch a given spot for more than a few short minutes once or maybe twice a day.

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