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Northrop Awarded $387M Global Hawk Contract for Italy, Japan, Korea

Northrop Grumman has been awarded a $387-million contract to sustain Italy, Japan, and South Korea’s RQ-4 Global Hawk drones.

According to a US Department of Defense announcement, the contract is part of foreign military sales to the government of Korea, Japan’s Ministry of Defense, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

It involves the provision of logistics support services to the three countries until April 2025.

Work for the contract will be performed at Sacheon Air Base and Osan Air Base in Korea, Misawa Air Base in Japan, and the Naval Air Station Sigonella in Italy.

The ‘Premier ISR Platform’

Northrop’s RQ-4 Global Hawk is a high-altitude, long-endurance aircraft designed to perform intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.

It reportedly provides persistent near-real-time coverage, thanks to its imagery intelligence, signals intelligence, and moving target indicator sensors.

It also boasts a maximum speed of 310 knots (574 kilometers/356 miles per hour), an operational range of 12,300 nautical miles (22,780 kilometers), and a flight endurance of more than 30 hours.

Globally, the remotely-piloted aircraft has flown over 320,000 hours, supporting missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and North Africa.

Last year, the US military drastically reduced Global Hawk flights after a Russian fighter jet collided with a Reaper drone over the Black Sea.

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