South Korea Moving to Acquire Four Global Hawks

South Korea intends to procure four Northrop Grumman-supplied RQ-4 Global Hawks in 2014 through a foreign military sale with the United States worth an estimated $848 million, reported Reuters on Sunday. South Korea “has plans to sign a contract next year to adopt Global Hawks in 2017,” said Lee Young-geol, administrator of South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration on Nov. 1, according to the news wire service. The contract is expected in the first half of 2014, states the Reuters report. The Pentagon notified Congress of the possible sale of the four Global Hawks in December 2012. At the time, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency pegged the estimated cost at approximately $1.2 billion, including training, associated parts and equipment, and logistical support. In August, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh visited South Korea. He said both South Korea and Japan expressed interest in acquiring more intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities and expanding interoperability with US forces.