You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Lawmakers: Keep flying Global Hawk Block 30 through 2016

May. 22, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
Beale's Global Hawk mission extends worldwide
Unmanned Global Hawks provide high-resolution intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance imagery. Air Force leaders, however, say the Block 30 version of the plane won't be needed, because its capabilities don't measure up to those of the manned U-2. (Staff Sgt. Timothy Jenkins/Air Force)
  • Filed Under

Lawmakers want the Air Force to keep flying the unmanned RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30 for another three years, despite the service’s contention that the manned U-2 is better suited for intelligence gathering.

In a markup of the fiscal 2014 defense spending bill, the House Armed Services tactical aircraft subcommittee directs the Air Force to keep flying the large, remotely piloted Global Hawks through December 2016. The markup will be discussed in a hearing on Thursday, and is just one of many steps in negotiating the Defense Department’s 2014 budget over the next few months.

The service had planned to retire the $215 million Block 30 variants in 2013, which would send the aircraft directly from the assembly line to storage.

Congress inserted a directive in the fiscal 2013 defense spending bill that the service keep flying the planes through 2014 and reconsider retiring them. Air Force leaders again proposed retiring the Global Hawk Block 30s in the 2014 budget plan now working its way through Congress.

“The U-2 has better operational capability, and the money it would take to bring the Global Hawk Block 30 up to that level of operational capability is in the hundreds of millions of dollars,” Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said in unveiling the 2014 budget proposal last month.

The subcommittee in its markup also directs the Defense Department to create an independent group of experts to review the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s software program and submit a report by March 2014.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Air Force Times

This Week's Air Force Times

CrossFit vs. unit PT
Troops will do the training plans in a $2.5 million study

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook