Now this is one big bird.
This is a US military RQ-4 Global Hawk drone. Used to observe Russia’s forces in eastern Ukraine, they’re reported as having flown along the front line at least 12 times this year. One assumes they are used to check on the status of Russia’s forces and to inform Ukraine should they detect anything unusual, or a build up in Russian forces.
These big beast UAV provide high resolution, near real-time imagery over a large geographic area. They have the ability to record a total flight coverage of some 40,000nm² (nautical miles) a day. They’ve got an impressive range of 14,000nm (25,000km) and can stay in the air for 42 hours. To avoid anti-aircraft systems, they can fly to an altitude of 65,000ft. More info via – Air Force Technology website.
As the Ukrainian military video below shows, there’s nothing secret about the US conducting these flights. As you can imagine, Russia’s propaganda usually goes off the scale each time they’re used. Hysterical claims are made of each flight being the prelude to yet another none existent Ukrainian offensive.
Equally amusing is when Russia’s propaganda screams – Look the US military is helping Ukraine. To which we all reply – Look Russia’s occupying eastern Ukraine.
The flight along the front line. They fly up along the front line to Luhansk and then down to Donetsk, and carry on down to the south coast and Ukraine held city of Mariupol.
Ukrainian military video giving a wrap up of events from this week. Drone is featured 10.12 mins in.