$434 M to Northrop Grumman for logistics lifecycle maintenance of USAF Global Hawk

The Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems sector in San Diego awarded a $434 million contract by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) to perform contractor logistics support to perform maintenance, repair, and overhaul, as well as other lifetime sustainment for the Global Hawk.

Contractor logistics support, although an expensive line item in the Pentagon budget, often makes sense in the modern era of complex military technology — especially as military personnel are taking a hit due to sequestration and other U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) budget cuts.

Maintaining large and complex weapon systems such as the Global Hawk, often referred to as organic repair, is a massive undertaking, according to a 2009 study by the Rand Corp., a think tank in Santa Monica, Calif.

Managing organic repair efficiently has been a challenge for the Air Force throughout its existence, according to the Rand Corp. study entitled Contractor Logistics Support in the U.S. Air Force. The Air Force spent $5.1 billion on organic depot maintenance and an additional $4.6 billion for private depot maintenance in 2005.

The Air Force has chosen contractor logistics support as an alternative to organic support of weapon systems since the last decade, particularly for depot maintenance for airframes and engines, as well as for parts repair and replacement.

Source Northrop Grumman Aerospace, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at www.robins.af.mil/units/aflcmc.

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