UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE
22 Apr 08. Northrop Grumman Corp., Integrated Systems, Bethpage, N.Y., is being awarded a cost-plus-award-fee contract with an estimated value of $1,164,011,648 for the system development and demonstration of Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). The System Development and Demonstration (SDD) Phase includes the design, fabrication, and delivery, of two unmanned aircraft with mission payloads and communications suites; one Forward Operating Base Mission Control System; one Systems Integration Laboratory; and one Main Operating Base Mission Control System. The BAMS UAS will provide persistent Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) data collection and dissemination capability to the Fleet. BAMS UAS will deliver capability enabling the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force (MPRF) Family of Systems to meet the Navy’s maritime ISR requirements. Work will be performed in Bethpage, N.Y., (30 percent); San Diego, Calif., (25 percent); various locations throughout the United States (13 percent); W. Salt Lake City, Utah (9 percent); Rolling Meadows, Ill., (7 percent); Falls Church, Va., (6 percent); Baltimore, Md., (5 percent); and Norwalk, Conn., (5 percent), and work is expected to be completed in Sep 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured through a request for proposals; three firms were solicited and three proposals were received. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-08-C-0023).
22 Apr 08. Northrop Grumman Corporation has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Air Force Aeronautical Systems Center for the development and flight-testing of a signals intelligence sensor payload for the U.S. Air Force MQ-1 Predator Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) and for the preliminary design of an expanded sensor package for the MQ-9 Reaper UAS. Under this 18-month, cost-plus-incentive fee contract valued at $54.9 million, Northrop Grumman will develop and flight-test the Airborne Signals Intelligence Payload 1C (ASIP-1C) sensor on the MQ-1. The sensor is scheduled to complete factory tests in December, complete flight tests in May 2009, and achieve operational fielding in 2010. Northrop Grumman will develop a preliminary design for an expanded ASIP-2C version of the sensor to provide a signals intelligence capability for the MQ-9 as part of the contract.
18 Apr 08. Insitu Group, Inc., of Bingen, Washington, is being awarded a firm-fixed price contract with a not-to-exceed value of 23,953,000 for unmanned aircraft system information gathering, target surveillance, and reconnaissance services in support of U.S. Special Operations Command. The work will be performed in Bingen and three other locations using O&M fiscal year 2008 funds. The contract number is H92222-08-C-0022.
Apr 08. UK Ministry of Defence officials investigate RAF Reaper loss in Afghanistan. Information released at the weekend reveals that one of the two MQ-9 Reapers in service with 39 Sqn, based at Creech AFB, Nevada, was lost on April 9 during an operational sortie. The aircraft came down in a rural, unpopulated area. In a statement, the MoD said: “it was possible to recover sensitive items before the wreckage was destroyed. The crash is under investigation, however, at this time mechanical issues as opposed to enemy action are suspected.” The aircraft were purchased in 2007 as part of Urgent Operational Requirement to give coalition troops fighting Taliban insurgents better intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance capabilities. MoD officials will not comment on the cause of the accident, or if an attrition replacement will be ordered. What is clear, is that the accident will put further pressure on British ISTAR assets, especially as a third aircraft currently on order will not be delivered until later this year. The Reapers are operated by 39 Sqn fr