Japan Eyes Global Hawk

Japan is seriously considering acquiring Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4 Global Hawk remotely piloted reconnaissance aircraft to enhance monitoring of its contested territorial waters and islands in the South China Sea, according to press reports. The US ally reportedly would like to procure three Global Hawks between Fiscal 2011 and Fiscal 2015, reports UPI news wire service. Northrop has confirmed that it is in negotiations with the Japanese defense ministry, but the Japanese have not yet formally selected the Global Hawk nor defined their operational requirements, according to San Diego Union Tribune report, citing a company spokeswoman. Northrop has been hoping to pique Japanese interest in the high-flying sensor platform. The company exhibited a Global Hawk mock-up in March in Tokyo. This news comes on the heels of the first of three US Air Force Global Hawk arriving at Andersen AFB, Guam, for beddown there.