U.S. ‘Global Hawk’ Drone Joins Search for Kidnapped Nigerian Schoolgirls

Image: The Global Hawk unmanned high-altitude reconnaissance aircraftThe “Global Hawk” — the U.S. military’s high-altitude, long-endurance aerial drone — flew its first surveillance mission over Nigeria on Tuesday in search of some 276 school girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram terrorist group, U.S. officials told NBC News.

With a wingspan of just over 130 feet, the Global Hawk’s air time is a huge advantage in surveillance operations: It can remain airborne for 28 hours with a range of 8,700 miles and has a top speed of 310 knots (357 mph), according to the Air Force.

The Global Hawk also has a variety of surveillance systems including radar, optical and infrared sensors.

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