Battlespace Tech

Army awards $72M deal for Saturn Arch anti-IED support

The Army has awarded Leidos a $72 million contract to continue support of a five-year-old, airborne geospatial intelligence program that helps neutralize improvised explosive devices on the ground. The one-year deal covers work running through Sept. 16, 2016.

Leidos will support continued operations and sustainment for the Saturn Arch aerial system, which conducts intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) from the air to help in the identification and removal of IEDs.

Aircraft configured for Saturn Arch are equipped with a range of ISR tools, including high-resolution electro-optical-infrared imagers, full-motion video, foliage-penetrating radar, synthetic aperture radar, digital mapping tools, and signals intelligence and communications intelligence capabilities.

The system was first started in 2010 in Afghanistan under the direction of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. In 2013, the mission was transferred to the Army Intelligence and Security Command, marking the first time a full program had been transferred from a national intelligence agency to the regular Army.

In the five years since it began, Saturn Arch’s support also has extended beyond just sniffing out IEDs, helping to give Army and Afghan troops a clear picture of the battlefield, with the situational awareness to make the battlefield as safe as possible, the Army said.

The Army also has expanded the network of aircraft and platforms involved in Saturn Arch.

About the Author

Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN.

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