Officials undecided about Global Hawk savings

Top Air Force officials have told the House Appropriation Committee's defense subcommittee that the service isn't sure what it will do with the money it saves by cutting the RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30 unmanned aircraft program, the Air Force Times reported.

The service had planned to buy 42 Block 30 aircraft, but the program was cut in the proposed fiscal 2013 budget; officials said the decades-old manned U-2 program would be able to complete the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission. The service expects to save $2.5 billion through fiscal 2017 by moving all 18 RQ-4s to storage, but Air Force Chief of Staff Norman Schwartz and Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said the Air Force hasn’t decided what to do with the money.

Donley also said March 6, “There were changes in the joint requirements for high altitude ISR that caused us to revisit how to meet those requirements with both of these platforms. We could get this done with the U-2,” the story noted.

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