Aerospace and defence technology provider Northrop Grumman has completed Nasa’s Global Hawk flight control test at its Grand Sky facility in North Dakota, US.

During the test, Nasa Global Hawk took off from Nasa Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC) at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After take-off, a flight team at Grand Sky Mission Control Center monitored and controlled the aircraft.

The team conducted various flight manoeuvres to showcase the ability of Transportable Operations Centre at the facility.

The company’s Grand Sky facility was launched in April 2017 and the in-flight test control operation marks the first since its opening.

Northrop Grumman autonomous systems strategy director Kristen Griffin said: “The ability to conduct flight operations shows the capability of the Grand Sky team to provide full command and control from our facility.”

Under a teaming agreement with Northrop Grumman, Nasa can use Global Hawk for new mission capabilities.

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Northrop Grumman’s Grand Sky facility is used for a range of tasks and activities such as research and development, aircraft maintenance, training, and analysis of operations and missions.

Kristen added: “In the near future, we expect to provide full flight test capability to support our government and commercial customers.

“The important work performed at Grand Sky supports the evolving needs of our customers while advancing research and development of our autonomous system’s capabilities for today and the future.”

Northrop is also developing a hangar next to the facility.