The Air Force will be able to meet the overarching requirement for intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance in the Pacific region with other information-gathering systems in the abscence of the Global Hawk Block 30 airplanes that the service intends to cease operating in Fiscal 2013, said Gen. Gary North, Pacific Air Forces commander, on Thursday. During his conversation with reporters at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., he also noted that the service can use the hangars built at Andersen AFB, Guam, to support three Block 30s for just about any other similar-sized aircraft in USAF’s portfolio. “For facilities, we are always planning on having multi-modal capability,” he said. The Air Force’s decision to stop using the Block 30s does not preclude allies from operating the system, said North, who called this configuration “very capable.” He said: “This is a capability our partners would like to leverage, and there are nations which need that capability.” The South Koreans, for example, have indicated interest in purchasing their own Global Hawks.
Reports of production troubles on the SpaceX rocket that could contend for military cargo deliveries happened to coincide with a different company’s concept receiving an early nod—one that might not require a rocket at all.