US Air Force Global Hawk RQ-4 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
US Air Force Global Hawk RQ-4 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Northrop Grumman Awarded US Air Force Contract for Global Hawk RQ-4 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Sierra Vista, Arizona, has been awarded a $75,500,000 contract for the Global Hawk RQ-4 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Foreign Military Sales (FMS) funds will be obligated at the time of task order award. The Air Force Installation Contracting Center, Joint Base San Antonio‐Randolph, Texas, is the contracting activity.

The contractor will provide multi-country aircrew and maintenance training consisting of program management support, courseware modification and development, pilot training, sensor operator training, and airframe and ground maintenance training to support the U.S. government and Air Force Security Assistance Training international partners’ mission objectives.

Airmen from the 319th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron nondestructive inspection team work together to complete a mobile automated scan on the wing composite of an RQ-4 Global Hawk at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., March 25, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Richards)

The Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk is a high-altitude, remotely-piloted, surveillance aircraft. It was initially designed by Ryan Aeronautical (now part of Northrop Grumman), and known as Tier II+ during development. It can survey as much as 40,000 square miles (100,000 km2) of terrain a day, an area the size of South Korea or Iceland.

The Global Hawk performs duties similar to that of the Lockheed U-2. The RQ-4 provides a broad overview and systematic surveillance using high-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and long-range electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensors with long loiter times over target areas. The Global Hawk is operated by the United States Air Force (USAF).

An RQ-4 Global Hawk from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam is towed down the taxiway at Misawa Air Base, Japan, May 24, 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Nathan Lipscomb)