The Path of Global Hawk

Pentagon weapons buyer Ashton Carter said Monday that the Air Force’s RQ-4 Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft program is “on a path to being unaffordable.” At the same time, he said it is “a perfect example” of a weapons project that will benefit from the new initiatives that he is enacting to improve efficiency with industry (see Better Buying Power above). As part of his plan,. Pentagon independent cost estimators are currently conducting an analysis of the Global Hawk program to identify why its costs are increasing. Carter explained: “We have to look at the airframe part of the program, each of the payload pieces of the program, and say, ‘Why are these things costing more every year and not less?'” Earlier this month, when criticism of the program’s rising costs came to light, Global Hawk supplier Northrop Grumman issued a release highlighting the RPA’s accomplishments.