Northrop secures $490M contract for Japan RQ-4 Global Hawk program

Northrop Grumman has been awarded a US$490 million contract for the Japan Global Hawk program, the US Department of Defense said on November 19, 2018.

Northrop packs 490M contract for Japan RQ 4 Global Hawk program 001 A US Navy MQ-4 Global Hawk UAV
(Credit: Northrop Grumman)

According to the Pentagon, the contract provides for three RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30i air vehicles each containing an enhanced integrated sensor suite payload, two ground control elements, spares and support equipment, system engineering and program management tasks required to execute, manage, control, and report on all program activities, and a site survey. 

"Work will be performed in San Diego and is expected to be completed by Sept. 1, 2022. This contract involves foreign military sales (FMS) to Japan and is the result of a sole-source acquisition," the service added.  

In November 2015, the US Department of State approved a $1.2bn FMS for three RQ-4 Global Hawk RPAS to Japan. "The proposed sale of the RQ-4 will significantly enhance Japan's intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities and help ensure that Japan is able to continue to monitor and deter regional threats," according to the DSCA's statement. 

Japan reportedly chose the Global Hawk over the Guardian ER design by General Atomics in late 2014, Japanese media reported.