Thursday, February 29, 2024

Kratos nabs $57M for BQM-177A target drones

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.

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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.

PhotoGreg Johnson

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.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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