Northrop Grumman announced Monday that it has received a $50 million contract from the Air Force to establish an interim repair line for RQ-4 Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft sensors until a fully independent depot-level repair program is in place for them. The interim repair line, which will be located at industry partner Raytheon’s facility in El Segundo, Calif., will work on the integrated sensor suite (ISS) of cameras and synthetic aperture radar used on Global Hawk Block 10 aircraft as well as the enhanced integrated sensor suite (EISS), a more robust package, carried on Block 20 and Block 30 airframes. Raytheon supplies these sensors. The interim repair line will significantly improve the availability of sensor components necessary to support an increased Global Hawk operations tempo, said Northrop.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.