SAN DIEGO -- The U.S. Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract valued at $276 million for operations and maintenance support of the RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned reconnaissance aircraft.
With eight Global Hawks (seven Block 10s and one Block 20) currently stationed at their main operating base at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., or deployed in-theatre, this sustainment contract calls for continued training and peacetime operations support for fiscal years 2009 and 2010. It will also provide operational assistance for two new forward operating locations at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy.
"During that two-year period, all of the next-generation Block 20 Global Hawks will be fielded at all three operating locations and also continuing in support of the global war on terrorism (GWOT)," said George Guerra, Northrop Grumman vice president of high-altitude long-endurance systems. "We are delighted in the Air Force's confidence in this truly dynamic and flexible intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system that has recently supported various domestic missions, from wildfires and hurricanes to coastal patrols and drug interdictions."
All work under this contract, such as ongoing engineering, data and configuration management, global supply chain management, spares and repairs, technical data and field services as well as maintenance, will be managed and executed by the 560th Aircraft Sustainment Group at Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Robins Air Force Base located in middle Georgia.
Northrop Grumman's Global Hawk teammates performing work under this contract include L-3 Communications, Salt Lake City, Utah (communication system); Raytheon Company, Waltham, MA (integrated sensor suite and ground station); and Rolls-Royce Corporation, Indianapolis, IN. (engine).
Logging more than 21,000 combat hours thus far with 95 percent mission effectiveness, Global Hawk can fly up to 65,000 feet for more than 35 hours and see through any inclement weather, day or night. It provides military field commanders with persistent, high-resolution, near real-time imagery and other critical sensor data. The Block 20 configuration can carry 1,000 more pounds (up to 3,000 pounds) of internal payload and operate with two-and-a-half times the electrical power than the Block 10.
Global Hawks are currently flown in four locations across the globe: Beale Air Force Base, home of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing and the RQ-4's main operating base, in Northern California; Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California; Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland; and in support of the GWOT.