About this story

  • An Air Force proposal to save $2.5 billion by closing a drone production line and mothballing some of the aircraft was defeated this year and last year by its manufacturer, Northrop Grumman.
  • The drone, known as the Global Hawk Block 30, had numerous  operating flaws and recurrent maintenance troubles.
  • Twenty-six lobbyists helped block the Air Force proposal, including many former congressional staff.
  • Northrop’s employees and PAC invested a half-million dollars in the 2012 election campaigns by members of the key decisionmaking committee, House Armed Services, and have given its chairman $113,000 since 2009.