The US based Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract to continue the provision of logistics and sustainment services for the RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to be used by the US Air Force (USAF).
The US Department of Defense has awarded contract worth $306m for Global Hawk maintenance, its inventory management, parts procurement and other tasks necessary to ensure the availability of this unmanned platform.
The agreement not only covers the aircraft but also its mission control elements and forward-operating location support.
The RQ-4 is powered by an Allison Rolls-Royce AE3007H turbofan engine. The Global Hawk is a high-altitude, long-endurance UAS designed to provide field commanders with high-resolution, near real-time imagery of large geographic areas in support of military, humanitarian and environmental missions.
“In a turbulent world, Global Hawk’s unparalleled reliability has made it an indispensable asset to the US Air Force. Our team takes great pride in supporting the warfighter with an aircraft system that is ready and available whenever and wherever it’s needed.”, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems Global Hawk director Mick Jaggers said.
The RQ-4 is capable of carrying a wide range of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensor payloads. This UAS also enables USAF to detect moving or stationary targets on the ground, while providing airborne communications and information sharing capabilities to military units in harsh environments.
The UAS is controlled remotely and has been used by USAF during wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. The RQ-4 was also used to support intelligence gathering and reconnaissance efforts post earthquakes in Haiti and Japan. NASA is another user for its scientific and environmental research projects.
Different variants of Global Hawk have clocked more than 130,000 flight hours till day.
Source: Airforce Technology