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Air Platforms

Japan signs for three Global Hawk UAVs

20 November 2018
Japan is to receive three Global Hawk Block 30i HALE UAVs by the beginning of September 2022. Source: Northrop Grumman

Japan has signed for three Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), with a USD489.9 million contract awarded to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) on 19 November.

The US Department of Defense (DoD) contract for the Foreign Military Sale (FMS) covers three Block 30i (international) variants of the Global Hawk fitted with an enhanced integrated sensor suite payload, two ground control elements, spares and support equipment, and programme services.

While the contract notification does not specify the nature of the mission equipment to be supplied, the original November 2015 US Defense and Security Agency (DSCA) approval notification for the deal notes each aircraft will be fitted with the Enhanced Integrated Sensor Suite (EISS). Developed by Raytheon, the EISS comprises an electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor, synthetic aperture radar imagery, and ground moving target indicator elements.

“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,” the DSCA said in 2015. As noted by the agency, the total value of Japan’s Global Hawk programme is estimated to be USD1.2 billion.

The Global Hawks are to be delivered by 1 September 2022.

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