Drone by Northrop Shouldn’t Be Retired, Lawmakers Says

By Roxana Tiron and Tony Capaccio Bloomberg

The Pentagon’s plan to retire one version of Northrop Grumman Corp. (NOC)’s Global Hawk drone would be blocked under a U.S. House panel’s defense legislation.

The House Armed Services subcommittee on air and land forces would require that the secretary of the Air Force take “all actions necessary” to keep the so-called Global Hawk Block 30 operating through 2014, according to a document the panel released today.

The Pentagon in February proposed truncating purchases of the Global Hawk variant and putting the drones it had already bought into storage. Air Force officials said those drones are more expensive to operate and have less sensing capacity than Lockheed Martin Corp.’s older U-2 spy planes. The Defense Department has projected savings of $2.5 billion over five years from truncating the Block 30 version of the Global Hawk.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-26/drone-by-northrop-shouldn-t-be-retired-lawmakers-says.html