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SOUTH KOREAN GLOBAL HAWK PURCHASE MOVES FORWARD
Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Source: US DoD

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan - South Korea has been green-lighted by the U.S. government for the procurement of four RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance drones. The Pentagon awarded the producer of the unmanned aerial vehicle, Northrop Grumman, a $657 million hybrid foreign military sales (FMS) contract that includes two spare engines and ground control equipment.

The Republic of Korea (RoK) Air Force has long placed a high priority on the acquisition of a long-range reconnaissance UAV in order to monitor North Korean ground activity and the South Korean government hasd sought the RQ-4 as its preferred solution to meet the "Hovering Unmanned Aerial Vehicle" (HUAV) requirement since 2005.

A formal request was placed with the U.S. in 2009, but due to concerns regarding the Missile Technology Control Regime - which attempts to stop the proliferation of ballistic missiles and other long-range unmanned delivery systems that could be used for chemical, biological, and nuclear attacks - export of the Global Hawk was considered off-limits at the time.

The U.S. government reconsidered and determined that the informal international understanding does not apply to the Global Hawk, thus clearing the way for its sale to South Korea. A formal government-to-government request via the Pentagon's FMS channel for four RQ-4 Block 30 Global Hawks was then made by South Korea, with the DSCA making an announcement to Congress on December 21, 2012. The estimated price tag for that FMS at the time was $1.2 billion, which included logistical support and follow-on training.

According to Northrop Grumman the first RQ-4 Global Hawk will be delivered to South Korea in 2018. Once delivered the drones will improve the ROKAF situational awareness vis-à-vis North Korea. The RQ-4 is powered by a single Rolls-Royce AE3007 turbofan.

Source:  Stars and Stripes
Associated URL: http://www.stripes.com/news/us-approves-sale-of-global-hawks-to-south-korea-1.31
Source Date: December 17, 2014
Author: D. Darling, Asia Analyst 
Posted: 12/17/2014

 

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