Aiming to add to their fleet of RQ-4 Global Hawks, the US Air Force has awarded a $354 million contract to Northrop Grumman Corporation, which manufactures the aircraft. The contract requires Northrop Grumman to make an additional three aircraft to bring the number of Air Force Global Hawks up to 37 by 2017.
The Global Hawk is used to retrieve intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data. It carries sophisticated imaging and electronic signals sensors that can gather various types of intelligence from high altitudes for as long as 32 hours. Included in the contract with Northrop Grumman are retrofit kits for the Airborne Signals Intelligence Payload sensors for two of the Global Hawks, allowing them to gather more information. These sensors are also manufactured by Northrop Grumman.
“Northrop Grumman is proud that the RQ-4 Global Hawk has become an indispensable ISR resource for the Air Force. These new systems will provide further opportunities to keep our warfighters safe,” said Mick Jaggers, program manager for Global Hawk at Northrop Grumman.
The company is closely tied with the Air Force and remains a major sponsor of one of service’s premier running events, the US Air Force Marathon. From September 19 to 20, the 18th installment of this running event is expecting the participation of 15,000 runners in 5K, 10K, half and full marathon events at Wright State University and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton.
“In 2014, we’re expecting approximately 70 Northrop Grumman employees and their family members to participate in the Air Force Marathon events. Many more of them will be manning aid stations or cheering the runners along the course,” said Kevin Bell, corporate lead executive for Northrop Grumman in Dayton.
Besides the Global Hawk, Northrop Grumman has also been supplying the Air Force with B-2 stealth bombers and the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System battle management and command and control aircraft.