Global Hawk

Raytheon has secured a contract to supply ground segments to Northrop Grumman for the Republic of Korea Air Force’s (ROKAF) RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

The $46m contract was awarded by Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. It requires the company to deliver one building-based and one mobile ground segment to locations in South Korea.

In February, Northrop received a $657.4m contract from the US Air Force (USAF) to supply four enhanced integrated sensor suite-equipped RQ-4B Block 30 Global Hawk UAS with two spare engines and applicable ground control environment elements to ROKAF from 2018.

The firm is also required to supply supporting equipment to enable ROKAF operators to control and maintain the system.

"The RQ-4 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."

Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services Mission Support and Modernisation vice-president Todd Probert said: "As the original developer and producer of the Global Hawk ground station, Raytheon is providing a platform that is known globally for reliable mission success.

"Additionally, our investment of technology for this capability will secure Raytheon’s ground station solution as reliable, relevant, and supportable for decades to come."

Work under the contract is scheduled to be carried out at Raytheon’s facility in Dulles, Virginia, US, and is expected to be completed by mid-2019.

The RQ-4 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 to support military, humanitarian and environmental missions.

The drone is powered by an Allison Rolls-Royce AE3007H turbofan engine. It enables commanders to detect moving or stationary targets on the ground, while providing airborne communications and information sharing capabilities to military units in harsh environments.

The remotely piloted aircraft has been used by the USAF during wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, and to support intelligence gathering and reconnaissance efforts after earthquakes in Haiti and Japan.


Image: A RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle at Edwards Air Force Base, California, US. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force, photo by Chad Bellay.