South Korea to receive Contractor Logistics Support for RQ-4 Block 30 Remotely Piloted Aircraft


The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Republic of Korea of Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) for RQ-4 Block 30 Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPS) for an estimated cost of $950 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on July 29, 2019.


South Korea to receive Contractor Logistics Support for RQ 4 Block 30 Remotely Piloted Aircraft
Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Block 30 Global Hawk (Picture source: U.S.A.F/Northrop Grumman)


The Republic of Korea has requested to purchase Contractor Logistics Support (CLS); program management; training for pilots maintenance, logistics and communications personnel; depot and organizational level maintenance; minor modifications and upgrades; spares and repair/return parts; operational flight support; program analysis; publications and technical documentation; U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics services; and other related elements of logistics and program support. The total estimated program cost is $950 million.

This proposed sale will enable the Republic of Korea to sustain and operate its fleet of RQ-4 Block 30 remotely piloted aircraft and will significantly advance U.S. interests in standardization with the Republic of Korea’s Armed Forces. The potential sale will further strengthen the interoperability between the United States and the Republic of Korea and ensures the Alliance has a robust intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability on the Korean peninsula. The principal contractor will be Northrop Grumman Corporation located in Palmdale, CA.

The Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk is a surveillance UAV. It was initially designed by Ryan Aeronautical (now part of Northrop Grumman), and known as Tier II+ during development. The Global Hawk performs duties similar to that of the Lockheed U-2. The RQ-4 provides a broad overview and systematic surveillance using high-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and long-range electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensors with long loiter times over target areas. It can survey as much as 40,000 square miles (100,000 km²) of terrain a day, an area the size of South Korea or Iceland.

The Global Hawk is operated namely by the USAF. It is used as a High-Altitude Long Endurance platform covering the spectrum of intelligence collection capability to support forces in worldwide military operations. According to the USAF, the superior surveillance capabilities of the aircraft allow more precise weapons targeting and better protection of friendly forces. The initial flyaway cost of each of the first 10 aircraft was US$10 million in 1994. By 2001 this had risen to US$60.9 million, and then to $131.4 million (flyaway cost) in 2013. The U.S. Navy has developed the Global Hawk into the MQ-4C Triton maritime surveillance platform.


 

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