Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) has been awarded a $354 million contract to manufacture three additional Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles for the U.S. Air Force.
The order will increase the number of RQ-4 Global Hawks operated by the branch to 37 by 2017, Northrop said Monday.
“Even as Global Hawk flight hours increase each year, we are striving to reduce the overall operating cost of the system for the Air Force, ” said Mick Jaggers, Northrop’s Global Hawk program manager.
The company will also produce Airborne Signals Intelligence Payload sensors for integration into two of the service’s existing RQ-4 drones, with deliveries slated to occur in late 2016 and in 2017.
Global Hawk is designed to support intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations and has logged more than 126, 000 flight hours to date, according to Northrop.