Thursday, April 26, 2012

Global Hawk Block 30 hangs on

The Air Force is proceeding "prudently" on the RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30 program, even though it's targeted for cancelation in the president's fiscal 2013 budget request. That request cancels the Block 30 order, originally planned for 42, and puts 18 existing Block 30s into storage. But Col. Karl Rozelsky, the Air Force's director for the Global Hawk program, said the service is not going to make any major changes until Congress acts. (Source: Air Force Times, 04/25/12) And some action is occurring. While the president's budget request provided no funds to operate the 18 drones, the House Armed Services Committee is providing money and marching orders. The HASC's mark-up of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2013 includes $260 million towards keeping the Block 30s operational. (Source: AOL Defense, 04/25/12) The marked bill adds 560 personnel to the strength of the Air Force to maintain the 18 UAVs. Another House Armed Services panel would have to add funds to operation and maintain the aircraft. (Source: Washington Post, 04/25/12) Gulf Coast note: Global Hawk center fuselages are built in Moss Point, Miss.