Northrop Grumman Awarded Global Hawk Modification Contract

The Air Force has ordered the final three RQ-4B Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft from manufacturer Northrop Grumman, completing the block’s program of record of 21 airframes. The $240.7 million contract covers production of three Global Hawks as well as two additional Airborne Signals Intelligence Payload sensors, according to the award notice. Air Force spokesman Ed Gulick said the service has already accepted delivery of 18 Block 30 Global Hawks and another airframe is slated for delivery this month. “The Global Hawk program of record is a total of 32 aircraft, consisting of 21 Block 30s and 11 Block 40s,” Gulick said. All 11 of the Block 40s have already been delivered to the Air Force. The Global Hawk was originally on the USAF chopping block because of budget constraints, but lawmakers prohibited its termination. Still, “the Block 30 fleet was sized to 21 in FY13 based on combatant commander requirements and fiscal constraints,” Gulick said. The Block 10 fleet was divested—the last one left the Air Force inventory in 2011. The Block 20 aircraft were moved into the Overseas Contingency Operations budget, and are no longer a part of the program of record. This is a modification contract to a $114.2 million firm-fixed-price contract awarded in September 2013.