11 Aug 2009

Guam airforce base to get hi tech unmanned military aircraft

7:36 am on 11 August 2009

Guam airforce base is to get a hi tech unmanned military aircraft that will be controlled by pilots on the ground, both on the island and in California.

US Air Force official Lieutenant Colonel Brandon Baker told the Marianas Variety newspaper the airbase is looking forward to the arrival of the RQ-4 Global Hawk aircraft next year and another two are scheduled for 2012.

Remote pilots fly the unmanned plane with pilots on Guam controlling take off and landing and a team in California operating the mission part of the flight.

The high altitude aircraft can fly up to 390 miles per hour and each Global Hawk will cost 50 to 80 million US dollars.

Lieutenant Colonel Baker says the aircraft can be used for intelligence gathering as well as assisting in humanitarian missions and natural disasters.

Local leaders on Guam have recently raised concerns about damage to the environment related to the build up of a military presence on the island.