DOD experiments with image services contracts to plug ISR gaps

Some parts of the Defense Department are now purchasing "pixels by the hour" from contractors operating unmanned aircraft systems as a way to fill gaps in their intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, reports Richard Whittle at AOL Defense blog.

Boeing subsidiary Insitu introduced the fee-for-service business model for pixel services in 2004 when it contracted with the Marines to fly its ScanEagle UAS during the Battle of Fallujah, the story said.

Use of the approach is expanding this year. The Special Operations Command awarded AAI a three-year deal in April to provide ISR services via its Aerosonde Mark 4.7 UAS, and the same month the Naval Air Systems Command awarded AAI, Insitu and CSC contracts to compete for ISR tasks over the next five years.

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