The US is likely to supply RQ-4 Block 30 (I) Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft and associated equipment and support, to Japan under a $1.2bn foreign military sale.
Japan has requested for three RQ-4 UAVs with Enhanced Integrated Sensor Suite (EISS), eight Kearfott Inertial Navigation System / Global Positioning System (INS / GPS) units, and eight LN-251 INS / GPS units.
Also included are operational-level sensor and aircraft test equipment, ground support equipment, operational flight test support, communications equipment, spare and repair parts, personnel training, publications and technical data, US Government and contractor technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support.
The US State Department has said that the RQ-4 will significantly enhance Japan’s intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities and help ensure that the Asian country is able to continue to monitor and deter regional threats.
The high-altitude, long-endurance aircraft comes with an integrated sensor suite that provides global all-weather, day or night ISR capability.
Global Hawk supports joint combatant forces with persistent near-real-time coverage using imagery intelligence (IMINT), signals intelligence (SIGINT) and moving target indicator (MTI) sensors.
The State Department has approved the sale, which now requires clearance from Congress.
Northrop Grumman is the lead contractor for the supplies.
The US sold Global Hawks and related equipment to South Korea in 2012 for $1.2bn. It supplied four UAVs and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support.
Last week, the US has approved the sale of bombs and related equipment worth $1.29bn to Saudi Arabia.
The country will supply more than 6,000GBU Paveway laser guided bombs (LGBs), and 12,000 general purpose bombs.