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​Northrop Grumman contract advances Japan RQ-4 work

The US Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman an additional $490 million contract related to Tokyo’s acquisition of three RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30(I) unmanned air vehicles.

The contract covers the three aircraft with enhanced integrated sensor suite payloads, plus two ground control elements, spares, and support services. The work is expected to be completed by September 2022.

The contract follows an earlier $130 million contract in October 2017, which supported the start of aircraft production.

In November 2015, the US government approved a $1.2 billion sale of three Block 30 Global Hawks to Japan.

In addition, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency has approved a possible deal with Tokyo for 32 Raytheon AIM-120C-7 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles for $63 million. The package includes the weapons as well as related support equipment and services.

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