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SDL crunches Global Hawk data for South Korea

4th November 2021 - 12:15 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The first RQ-4 Global Hawk for the ROKAF arrived in December 2019. (Photo: Northrop Grumman/Yonhap)

US company to support imagery analysis and exploitation, aircrew training, mission results validation and target verification.

US-based Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL), a wholly-owned non-profit subsidiary of Utah State University, is to conduct data processing for the fleet of RQ-4 Global Hawk HALE UASs operated by the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF).

Work under a $28.95 million FMS contract from Warner Robins Air Force Base will be performed at Osan Air Base in South Korea for completion by 30 November 2024, the DoD stated on 1 November.

The SDL website states that its ground display stations (with the Sky Lynx common data link interface) present data from sensors aboard Global Hawk, to support imagery analysis and exploitation, aircrew training, mission results validation, target verification, and on-site maintenance.

According to Shephard Defence Insight, South Korea ordered four Block 30 Global Hawks in 2014 for KRW965.9 billion ($693 million). The first of these Northrop Grumman-made UASs arrived in December 2019 and deliveries to the ROKAF were completed in September 2020.

This article was amended on 5 November 2021 to clarify ownership of SDL.

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