Global Hawks for South Korea?

Obama Administration officials apprised Congress of the White House’s aim to offer RQ-4 Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft to South Korea under a foreign military sale. Eager to strengthen surveillance capability in light of heightened friction with its northern neighbor, South Korean “interest is based on the operational need of our military,” said a South Korean defense spokesman, reported Reuters. Pending the result of negotiations between the US and South Korean governments—as well as a required export waiver—”a contract is expected by the end of the year,” Gemma Loochkartt, spokeswoman for Global Hawk prime contractor Northrop Grumman, told the Daily Report, Monday. “As far as all the details are concerned, that’s being worked on directly between the two governments.” Right now, she detailed, the deal “would include four [Global Hawks] in the Block 30 configuration and, of course, the ground station.” Pacific partners Australia and Japan, among others, also have voiced interest in acquiring the high-flying RQ-4 intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance platform.