Northrop Grumman awarded USD4.8bn for Global Hawk development, modernisation, retrofit and sustainment

by Gareth Jennings

Northrop Grumman has been awarded USD4.8 billion for the development, modernisation, retrofit and sustainment of its RQ-4 Global Hawk series of high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft systems (UASs).

The US Air Force has 31 Global Hawks in its inventory that are now covered by a 10-year development, modernisation, retrofit and sustainment contract for the manufacturer valued at USD4.8 billion. (Northrop Grumman)

The US Air Force has 31 Global Hawks in its inventory that are now covered by a 10-year development, modernisation, retrofit and sustainment contract for the manufacturer valued at USD4.8 billion. (Northrop Grumman)

The 10-year award, announced by the US Department of Defense (DoD) on 25 November, covers activities for all US Air Force (USAF) Global Hawk variants, and will run through to 30 September 2030.

“This contract provides for management, including programme, business and technical areas; engineering efforts, including configuration management, data management, reliability, availability and maintainability, and related areas of concern such as technical refresh, diminishing manufacturing sources, etc.; studies and analyses; design, development, integration, test and evaluation; contract/production line closeout/shutdown; training; sparing; overseas contingency operations support; fielding; cyber security/information assurance; interoperability support; facilities modification/renovation; integrated logistics support; requirements management specification management; and quality assurance. Additional, and more specific, guidance will be included within each individual delivery order/task order statement of work and performance work statement regarding these and other tasks,” the DoD said.

The USAF has 31 Block 20, 30, and 40 Global Hawk HALE unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in its inventory. As noted by Janes World Air Forces, the platform’s integrated sensor suite is designed to provide all-weather, night or day intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) in near real time.

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Northrop Grumman has been awarded USD4.8 billion for the development, modernisation, retrofit and su...

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