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20 Global Hawks arriving at GrandSky

Global Hawk
Global Hawk

Four have already arrived, with the rest to follow by the end of July.

20 Global Hawks are headed to the GrandSky Business and Aviation Park just west of Grand Forks.

All the aircraft will arrive at GrandSky by the end of this month, and will be outfitted with new and different sensor technology before they begin their new mission. Global Hawks are high altitude, remotely piloted surveillance aircraft.

Thomas Swoyer is President of GrandSky. He says the Global Hawks will be part of the Test Resource Management Center’s High Speed System Test department.

"The Range Hawk Mission - which is their new name, they're going from Global Hawk to Range Hawk - they'll be repurposed with new cameras, new sensors, and new command and control capabilities, new communication systems - so they can take on that new mission. And all that modernization work is expected to be done at GrandSky, so that's a lot of work coming down the road, a lot of jobs, a lot of economic development activity that's going to happen at GrandSky now."

Swoyer says this move will bring further investment and career opportunities to the area.

"For North Dakota, for Minnesota - this means a lot of jobs, a lot of opportunities at all different kinds of levels. From software and electronics engineering, to composites for the air frame, to avionics and all the other parts traditional aircraft maintenance work, as well as now all the unmanned systems that go into it, and all the mechanical work for landing gear and engines, all the regular things that have to happen. I don't know how many, but I can certainly say the jobs could be in the hundreds that are coming our way."

GrandSky is the United States’ very first commercial UAS business and aviation park, as well as the nation’s premier UAS testing location.