South Korea is on the verge of signing a letter of acceptance for four Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30 (I)s.

At a media briefing in the Northrop Grumman chalet, company executives revealed that they are awaiting Seoul’s confirmation of the acquisition.

In late 2012 the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of the possible $1.2 billion South Korean deal. Although the aircraft is described as a Block 30, the Congressional notification specifically mentioned the Raytheon Enhanced Integrated Sensor Suite (EISS), standard equipment on the earlier Block 20.

The US company is also confident that Japan will obtain three Global Hawks, and says a foreign military sales (FMS) document is being drawn up for Australia’s perusal.

The Global Hawk would allow South Korea to maintain persistent surveillance deep into the territory of its restive neighbour, North Korea.