First delivery in 2018
Northrop Grumman has secured a contract to deliver four unmanned RQ-4B Global Hawk surveillance aircraft to South Korea, as Japan begins negotiating a similar deal.
The $657 million “hybrid contract” procures four Block 30 aircraft, two spare engines and two ground control stations, according to a Dec. 16 Defense Department contract announcement.
The deal comes almost nine months after South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration announced the selection of Global Hawk to meet its high-altitude surveillance requirement.
In a Dec. 17 email to Inside the Air Force, Northrop spokesman Warren Comer said the company is pleased to move forward with RQ-4B delivery. As a foreign military sale, the program will be managed through the Air Force’s Global Hawk program office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OK.
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The Japanese Ministry of Defense has announced the selection of Northrop Grumman’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeye and RQ-4B Global Hawk to meet its military modernization requirements. The country has also decided to procure the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey.
The Japanese MOD made the announcements in a series of notices accompanying the release of its fiscal year 2015 budget request. The notices were posted Nov. 21.
Northrop’s E-2D was selected over Boeing’s 737 AEW&C offer for an airborne warning and control platform. The MOD notice said the E-2D rated higher in terms of function and performance, cost and logistics.
The Global Hawk was the preferred platform to meet the country’s high-altitude remotely piloted aircraft requirement, beating the extended-range MQ-9 Guardian aircraft proposed by General Atomics-Aeronautical Systems Inc. The V-22 was the only tiltrotor aircraft considered for Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force.
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