Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems Inc. was awarded a $57,6 million contract modification to exercise options to procure full-rate production Lot Five of the BQM-177A surface launched aerial targets.
The deal modifies a contract awarded in January 2023 to provide for the production and delivery of 70 BQM-177A target drones and 70 rocket-assisted takeoff attachment kits.
Work is expected to be completed in April 2026.
The BQM-177A represents an advanced, high-subsonic, recoverable aerial target system designed and manufactured by Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, a U.S.-based developer specializing in advanced technology solutions for the U.S. armed forces and its allied nations.
This unmanned system is purpose-built to meet the weapons-release training requisites of both the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy.
The primary mission of the BQM-177A target is to replicate real-world enemy anti-ship cruise missiles, serving as a crucial training tool. Additionally, it can be deployed to facilitate training for naval aviators engaged in testing and evaluating new weapon systems during air-to-air combat operations.
The BQM-177A boasts dimensions of 5.18 meters in length, 1 meter in height, and a wingspan of 2.13 meters. With a dry weight of 281.22 kilograms, it can accommodate payloads weighing up to 45.35 kilograms within its fuselage and up to 38.55 kilograms on each wingtip.
For launch, a rocket-assisted take-off system is employed, while recovery, whether from land or water, is executed through a parachute recovery system.
The target can operate in either manual or autonomous mode, with manual control by the operator or pre-programmed flight maps guiding the vehicle in autonomous operation.