5 to compete for Army UAS task orders

The Army has awarded a contract worth as much as $248 million over five years to five companies to compete for future small unmanned aircraft systems requirements.

Under the indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract, the companies will provide a "full spectrum" of small unmanned aircraft systems and services to meet Army needs and possibly the needs of other U.S. civilian agencies and foreign countries.

The five companies selected by the Army are AeroVironment, Altavian, Innovative Automation Technologies, Lockheed Martin and Elbit Systems of America, the Army said.

Small unmanned systems generally consist of an unmanned aircraft platform; ground control station; electro-optic/infrared payloads; reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition computer kit; and field repair kit, the Army said. The small unmanned systems are capable of transmitting live airborne video images, compass headings and location information to a GCS and to a RSTA laptop computer.

The contract will enable the continued procurement of AeroVironment’s RQ-11B Raven and RQ-20A Puma AE systems, as well competition for requirements for medium- and long-range small unmanned aircraft systems, AeroVironment officials said Jan. 8.

"This new IDIQ contract provides for continued procurement of small UAS, reflecting the high value of this capability," said Roy Minson, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment.

Army ACC-APG, Natick Contracting Division awarded the contract on behalf of the Army's Small UAS Product Office.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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