Northrop wins $130 mn order to launch Japan's Global Hawk Block 30 program

World Defense & Security Industry News - Northrop Grumman
Northrop wins $130 mn order to launch Japan's Global Hawk Block 30 program
The US-based defense contractor Northrop Grumman has been awarded a $130,469,576 contract to launch work for the Japan RQ-4 Global Hawk RPAS program, the US Department of Defense announced on Oct. 5, 2017.
Northrop wins 130mn order to launch Japan s Global Hawk Block 30 program 640 001An RQ-4 Global Hawk from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam lands at Misawa Air Base, Japan, May 24, 2014. The aircraft is part of the 69th Reconnaissance Group Detachment 1 and is the first Global Hawk to land in Japanese territory
(Credit: U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Nathan Lipscomb)
This contract includes long lead material to initiate the program for three global hawk block 30 RPAS, two ground control elements, enhanced integrated sensor suite, spares, and a site survey, the US DoD said.

"Work will be performed in San Diego, California, and is expected to be complete by July 27, 2018. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition and includes foreign military sales to Japan. (...) Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity," the DoD added.

In November 2015, the US Department of State approved a $1.2bn FMS for three RQ-4 Global Hawk RPAS to Japan. "The proposed sale of the RQ-4 will significantly enhance Japan's intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities and help ensure that Japan is able to continue to monitor and deter regional threats," according to the DSCA's statement.

Japan reportedly chose the Global Hawk over the Guardian ER design by General Atomics in late 2014, Japanese media reported. The JASDF plans to start using them in FY 2018 and may base the RPAS at Misawa AB.

In message to North Korea, US temporarily deployed its Global Hawk surveillance drone in May 2017. The drones were scheduled to operate out of Yokota until the end of October.