1999: Through 20 October, Northrop-Grumman’s RQ-4A Global Hawk flew a 24.8-hour mission from Edwards AFB to Alaska. The extended-range sortie included its first mission over water and its first flight beyond the CONUS. During the flight, the Global Hawk collected and relayed 193 ground images to ground stations.
From its first flight in 1998 to 9 September 2013, the combined Global Hawk fleet flew 100,000 hours. 88 percent of flights were conducted by USAF RQ-4s, while the remaining hours were flown by NASA Global Hawks, the EuroHawk, the Navy BAMS demonstrator, and the MQ-4C Triton. Approximately 75 percent of flights were in combat zones; RQ-4s flew in operations over Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya; and supported disaster response efforts in Haiti, Japan, and California.