Almost 160, and Counting

Northrop Grumman has firm or very likely orders for more than 150 of its Global Hawk remotely piloted reconnaissance aircraft, according to George Guerra, company vice president for high-altitude, long-endurance systems. Briefing reporters Tuesday in Washington, D.C., Guerra said the Air Force now has an approved requirement for 77 RQ-4 Global Hawks and the Navy intends to buy 68 Global Hawk-based Broad Area Maritime Surveillance aircraft. Plus, there is a NATO requirement for eight Alliance Ground Surveillance unmanned aircraft systems, and Germany already has one Eurohawk and a likely requirement for four more, he said. Beyond that, Australia is a possible Global Hawk customer, as are “various Pac Rim countries,” although not Taiwan, said Guerra. He noted that the Air Force is logging about 9,300 Global Hawk hours a year now, but that annual figure is expected to climb to 64,000 hours by 2015.