During the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition, Northrop Grumman and its supplier partners celebrated the first component parts manufactured in the Republic of Korea for the country’s RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system.
Global Hawk provides valuable wide-area intelligence gathering capabilities to military commanders.
Firstec and Korea Jig and Fixtures each displayed parts in production for the four Global Hawk UAS purchased by the Republic of Korea. Firstec manufactures wire harnesses and KJF makes build-to-print aerospace grade precision machine parts for the Global Hawk.
Northrop Grumman signed a memorandum of understanding with Firstec and KJF in 2013 to support the Global Hawk. Manufacturing of the first Korean Global Hawk aircraft is currently underway at Northrop Grumman’s Moss Point, Mississippi, facility. Final aircraft production will take place in Palmdale, California.
“Northrop Grumman is focused on providing superior and affordable technology and expertise to the Republic of Korea,” said Mick Jaggers, vice president and program manager, Global Hawk, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “We seek to strengthen and develop the future economy of Korea by leveraging local industrial talent and resources in ways that build a more capable, competitive supply chain.”
The Republic of Korea is a key U.S. partner in ensuring peace and stability in the East Asia region. The Northrop Grumman Global Hawk, which can fly for more than 30 hours at altitudes up to 60,000 feet, is ideally suited to monitor and deter regional threats in support of Korea’s defense forces.
The Global Hawk UAS has logged more than 150,000 flight hours, 75 percent of which were combat/operational missions. The Republic of Korea is purchasing four Global Hawks under a foreign military sales procurement with the U.S. government awarded last December.
Global Hawk supports military missions, anti-terrorism, anti-piracy, scientific and environmental work, as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts anywhere in the world. The system was used following natural disasters in Haiti, Japan and the Republic of the Philippines to make damage assessments and allow first responders to pinpoint where people needed help the most.