Things certainly have changed if this is true. When I was on the Air Staff as a UAV Export Policy advisor, the CSAF stated on numerous occasions that the USAF would NEVER arm a Global Hawk. The biggest reason stated at that time would be the royal PITA getting permission to cross international borders with an armed UCAV.
"It's time to get medieval, I'm goin' in for guns" - Dos Gringos
Look at the U-2 program. A U-2 was shot down over the USSR, so NATO wouldn't allow funding/basing of the U-2 series "SPY" aircraft for some time. The solution of the whole problem was to call the aircraft TR-1 "Tactical Reconnaissance" whenever it was stationed in Europe, or when the US wanted some funding $$ from NATO.
They would fly around the US as a U-2, then when departing the US, the aircraft's records/forms would be changed to TR-1 so when it landed....
No more issues....
Moral of the story; "Global Hawk" may not ever have weapons, but the "Global Kite", who knows?
Keep 'em flyin'
[Airplanes are] near perfect, all they lack is the ability to forgive.
— Richard Collins
Well what are R/C airplanes, if not UAVs, eh? Wink
Then they could have gotten away with saying, "own and fly your own Predator."
Even a 1:1 copy without the mission equipment could be available if you had that hobby and a few million extra dollars burning a hole in your pocket.
Personal opinion: no where does the article call it Global Hawk,... only that it "looks like a mini-Global Hawk".
If they decide to produce this, they will certainly "breed out" the laundry list of problems that are in the GH.
As for making it an attack platform,... GH has no Full Motion Video that I'm aware of. Seems like something it would need to become an "attack platform".
Huggy's right. GH won't be armed. We have other UAVs to do that job.
Regarding the U-2, it was never named, nor called within the military or CIA circles "Spy Plane". That was simply media horse sierra. The U-2 continued on and off in production well before Carter had the plane redesignated TR-1.
"He counted on America to be passive...He counted wrong." -- President Ronald Reagan