Monday, May 21, 2012

NATO getting 5 Global Hawks

Northrop Grumman and NATO signed a $1.7 billion contract Sunday for a new surveillance and intelligence system that will include five unmanned Global Hawk Block 40s. Called the Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system, it's designed to support a broad range of missions for the alliance. The deal was signed during the meeting of NATO members in Chicago. Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United States are expected to participate in the system's acquisition, but all 28 alliance nations are to participate in long-term support. The first aircraft will arrive at Sigonella air base in Sicily in 2015 with full operational capability in 2017. The NATO AGS will be co-located with U.S. Air Force Global Hawks and U.S. Navy Broad Area Maritime Surveillance aircraft. (Source: multiple, including Reuters, Northrop Grumman via PRNewswire, 05/20/12) Gulf Coast note: Global Hawk center fuselages are built in Moss Point, Miss.