Speaking at the IQPC Airborne ISR conference in London on 27 January, Lieutenant Colonel Roland Runge, head of the Offensive Air, Tactical Air Reconnaissance & UAS Division of the GAF Command, said the signals intelligence (SIGINT) high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft system would be handed over on completion of a successful functional check flight, concluding the Euro Hawk SIGINT sensor flight test programme.
Following the first sensor test flight on 11 January, 13 additional such flights are planned, although there may be more if the test programme requires it. The handover marks the start of a 30-month customer logistic support phase incorporating operational trials, during which the GAF will progressively take over responsibility for operation and support of the aircraft.
Lt Col Runge told IHS Jane’s that this phase could be extended by 12 months if necessary, although this has not yet been finalised contractually.
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