Army awards contract for tactical intelligence aircraft

Options would allow for 6 EMARSS aircraft

The Army has selected Boeing Co. to build an airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data collection system to support battlefield missions under a contract with an initial value of $88.1 million.

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The Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System (EMARSS) will enhance the Army’s capability to detect, identify and track surface targets in almost all weather conditions and at both day and night with a high degree of accuracy, company officials said in a Dec. 6 announcement.

The initial 24-month contract calls for Boeing to deliver four aircraft outfitted with the system. The agreement contains an option that would extend its length to 48 months and require the company to furnish two additional aircraft for a possible total of six low-rate initial production units.

The scope of work covers engineering and manufacturing development and also logistics support.

Boeing will install the EMARSS system on the twin-engine, turboprop Hawker Beechcraft King Air 350, a commercial aircraft. The system features two operator workstations, an electro-optic and infrared full-motion video sensor, a communications and intelligence collection system, aerial precision guidance equipment, and line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight communications suites.

The Army’s Communications-Electronics Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is the contracting activity.

About the Author

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

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