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Navy Drone Crashes In Maryland

An RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft.
Bobbi Zapka
U.S. Airforce
An RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft.

A RQ-4A Global Hawk, an unmanned aerial vehicle, has crashed near Salisbury, Maryland.

NPR's Larry Abramson reports the Navy says the drone was on a test flight out of Patuxtent Naval Air Station, when it crashed in a remote, swampy area. No injuries nor property damage have been reported.

The drone was one of five acquired "by the Navy for surveillance and intelligence use," Larry tells our Newscast unit.

Video on CNN showed brush on the ground smoldering. The network reports:

"The crash site has been blocked to recreational boat traffic while the agency investigates, the Coast Guard official said.

"As soon as Navy personnel lost contact with the unmanned vehicle, a piloted aircraft was dispatched to Maryland's eastern shore, where it came upon the wreckage and determined that it was unlikely anyone on the ground had been hurt, Navy officials told CNN."

"The Navy says, it is cleaning up the crash site, and that an investigation of the cause of the crash is underway," Larry reports.

Update at 3:58 p.m. ET. A Bit More On The Drone:

According to Designation Systems, the Northrop Grumman-made drone is huge and jet powered. The drone can fly for 36 hours, cover 11,730 nautical miles at an altitude of 65,000 feet. It has a 116-foot wingspan and weighs 25,600 pounds.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.