SAN DIEGO, March 16, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) — The U.S. Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) a $287 million contract for the next production lot (Lot 5) of RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial systems. The Global Hawk system can survey vast regions to bring real-time imagery intelligence to the warfighter in any weather, day or night. "This contract award represents the continuation of a highly capable system, which has demonstrated unprecedented success in its first production deployment," said Randy Brown, Global Hawk Systems Group director with the Air Force’s 303rd Aeronautical Systems Group at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. "In 2006, it flew more than 3,300 combat hours, taking over 50,000 images directly supporting our deployed forces in support of the global war on terrorism."
The contract includes five air vehicles, one mission control element, one launch and recovery element, four enhanced integrated sensor suites (EISS) and sustaining support. Four of the five air vehicles will be in the Block 30 configuration with one in the Block 40 configuration. Block 30 air vehicles will be equipped with the EISS and will be airborne signals intelligence payload capable. The Block 40 air vehicle will be Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program payload capable.
"This award reaffirms the Air Force’s confidence in Global Hawk and our commitment in keeping the program on cost and on schedule," said Jerry Madigan, Northrop Grumman vice president of the high altitude long endurance systems market segment. "These air vehicles deliver priceless intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to our warfighters."
The Global Hawk fuselage is assembled at the Unmanned Systems Center in Moss Point, Miss. The fuselage is shipped to the primary Global Hawk manufacturing center in Palmdale, Calif., where the 130-foot wings are mated and final assembly completed. The first air vehicle in Lot 5 is currently in production and scheduled for delivery to the Air Force early next year. Work on this contract will continue through February 2009.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 122,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.
Source: Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems
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