USAF To Expand RQ-4 Global Hawk UAS Fleet, Awards $354 Million Contract To Northrop Grumman

  • Our Bureau
  • 11:04 AM, September 16, 2014
  • 3026

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman a $354 million primarily firm-fixed-price contract to expand their RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) fleet by three aircraft.

Global Hawk operates multiple sensors simultaneously to gather intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) data. The new aircraft are Multi-INT models that carry sophisticated imaging and electronic signals sensors capable of collecting multiple types of intelligence from high altitudes for up to 32 hours.

The contract also includes retrofit kits to add Airborne Signals Intelligence Payload (ASIP) sensors into two of the existing RQ-4, providing them with Multi-INT capability. ASIP is an advanced ISR collection sensor also built by Northrop Grumman.

The aircraft will bring the Air Force RQ-4 fleet size to 37 in 2017. The ASIP retrofit kits are scheduled for delivery in late 2016 and in 2017. All RQ-4 UAS fuselages are built at Northrop Grumman facilities in Moss Point, Mississippi, with final assembly and acceptance testing is conducted in Palmdale.

"Northrop Grumman is proud that the RQ-4 Global Hawk has become an indispensable ISR resource for the Air Force. These new systems will provide further opportunities to keep our warfighters safe," said Mick Jaggers, Global Hawk program manager, Northrop Grumman.

"Even as Global Hawk flight hours increase each year, we are striving to reduce the overall operating cost of the system for the Air Force," Jaggers added. The Air Force's commitment to putting more Global Hawks in the air and our dedication to meeting affordability agreements for production and sustainment ensure that this vital asset will remain sustainable and viable for many years."

The different variants of Global Hawk have flown more than 126,000 flight hours supporting diverse global missions. Carrying a variety of ISR sensor and communications gateway payloads, Global Hawk supports antiterrorism, antipiracy, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, airborne communications relay, information-sharing and the full range of operational combat missions.

Also Read

Israel Suspends Future UAS Contracts To Russia

August 5, 2014 @ 01:43 PM

Airbus To Begin Trials Of Tanan Block 2 UAS Soon

June 20, 2014 @ 02:17 PM

Improved Gray Eagle UAS Flies With SIGNINT Pod

May 22, 2014 @ 02:41 PM

Textron To Provide Mission Support Services For US Navy’s Aerosonde SUAS

May 21, 2014 @ 10:45 AM

Airbus, Dassault and Alenia Aermacchi Deliver Proposal To Develop European UAS Program

May 19, 2014 @ 12:01 PM

Lockheed Martin Introduces New Vector Hawk SUAS

May 14, 2014 @ 09:34 AM

Northrop Starts Production Of South Korean Global Hawks, To Deliver By 2018

February 3, 2015 @ 10:26 AM

Northrop Grumman’s HALE UAS Sets New Flight Record

January 12, 2015 @ 09:39 AM

Northrop Grumman Wins $657.4 Million Global Hawk Contract

December 18, 2014 @ 10:01 AM

Northrop Grumman Wins $422 Million SIBRS Sensor Payload Contract

October 16, 2014 @ 02:55 PM

Northrop Grumman Unveils High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle At AUSA 2014

October 15, 2014 @ 09:22 AM

US Sells 16 C-27A Aircraft For $32,000 After Paying $500 Million For

October 10, 2014 @ 02:48 PM
FEATURES/INTERVIEWS