Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems has been awarded a contract, worth $490 million, to deliver three RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30i unmanned surveillance aircraft to Japan.
The aircraft are being procured via the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route and the contract was awarded by the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
The contract provides for: three RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30i air vehicles each containing an enhanced integrated sensor suite payload, two ground control elements, spares and support equipment, system engineering and program management tasks required to execute, manage, control, and report on all program activities, and a site survey.
According to the U.S. DoD statement, all the aircraft contracted are expected to be delivered by Sept. 1, 2022 and the work will be performed in San Diego.
Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk is a large high altitude, long endurance (HALE) unmanned surveillance aircraft originally designed by Ryan Aeronautical (now part of Northrop Grumman).
The aircraft is powered by a single Rolls-Royce F137-RR-100 turbofan engine and has a service ceiling of 60,000 feet (18,288 meters). It can fly continuously for 34 hours with a range of 12,300 nautical miles
With the ability to fly at high altitudes for a long time, Global Hawk is designed to gather near-real-time, high-resolution imagery of large areas of land in all types of weather – day or night.
In active operation with the U.S. Air Force since 2001, Global Hawk has amassed more than 250,000 flight hours with missions flown in support of military and humanitarian operations.