11 May 05. Boeing successfully completed a key Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems (J-UCAS) X-45C system requirements review with its DARPA, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy customers. The review was a joint assessment that allows Boeing to continue executing the J-UCAS Capability Demonstration Program (CDP). During the two-day review, Boeing provided a comprehensive X-45C system analysis verifying it has incorporated the customers’ performance requirements into the aircraft. A final design review will occur later this summer. Under the J-UCAS X-45C CDP, Boeing will build and demonstrate three X-45C vehicles, two mission control elements, and integrate a common operating system. The first X-45C will be completed in 2006, with flight-testing scheduled to begin in early 2007. An operational assessment will begin that same year and will focus on the X-45’s ability to conduct suppression of enemy air defenses; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and strike missions for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy. The X-45C will be 39 feet long with a 49-foot wingspan, cruise at 0.80 Mach at an altitude of 40,000 feet, carry a 4,500 pound weapon payload, and fly a combat radius of more than 1,200 nautical miles. Boeing previously built two X-45A vehicles, which are currently in flight test and being used to verify the core functionality of the successive software blocks at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. In February 2005, the two X-45A aircraft flew a simulated combat mission during their 50th flight at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The J-UCAS X-45 program is a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency/U.S. Air Force/U.S. Navy/Boeing effort to demonstrate the technical feasibility, military utility and operational value of an unmanned air combat system for the Air Force and the Navy. Operational missions for the services may include persistent strike; penetrating electronic attack; suppression of enemy air defenses; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance
09 May 05. Northrop Grumman Corporation has placed a purchase order with Aurora Flight Sciences of Manassas, Va., to produce the company’s first Hunter II UAV. The order for the unmanned aircraft, which will serve as a test and demonstration system, reflects Northrop Grumman’s commitment to the medium-altitude endurance UAV market. It will also help mature the manufacturing processes needed to ensure Northrop Grumman can respond quickly and cost-effectively to emerging UAV requirements for military and commercial customers. Scott J. Seymour, president of Northrop Grumman’s Integrated Systems sector, presented the purchase order to Aurora Flight Sciences President John S. Langford during a ceremony April 29 at an Aurora manufacturing facility in Starkville, Miss., where the Hunter II will be built. Hunter II is Northrop Grumman’s offering for the U.S. Army’s current Extended Range/Multi-Purpose (ER/MP) UAV competition. If the company wins the competition, Aurora Flight Sciences will manufacture Hunter II ER/MP air vehicles in Starkville. An Army decision on the ER/MP winner is expected by the end of May.
10 May 05. Lockheed Aeronautics Co., Ft. Worth, Texas, was awarded on May 9, 2005, a $4,222,852 increment of a $7,087,376 other transaction for prototypes agreement to conduct risk reduction demonstrations and mature the Multi-Purpose Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and related servicing and support system concepts. Work will be performed in Ft. Worth, Texas (52 percent), Groton, Conn. (33 percent), Toledo, Ohio (8 percent), and Riviera Beach, Fla. (7 percent) and will be completed in March 2007. Funds will not expire at the end of this fiscal year. This is a sole source award. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is the contracting activity (HR0011-05-9-0007).
09 May 05. Alion Science and Technology Corp., Chicago, Ill., is being awarded a $20,023,288 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for te