The U.S. Department of Defense has announced that four high-tech companies will compete for a $99,5 million order to develop a new unmanned aircraft system, called Future Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems (FTUAS).
Textron AAI Corp, Arcturus UAV, Martin UAV and L3 Technologies will compete for each order of a nearly $100 million contract for Future Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems, the department said in a stetament on Thursday.
Also noted that work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of July 24, 2022.
Expected that new FTUAS platform will enable multi-domain capabilities for brigade air-ground operations via significant improvements in operational capability, survivability, reliability, availability, maintainability and mobility. Advancements in technology and mission requirements pave the way for bringing next-generation UAS to brigade combat teams and replaced the RQ-7 Shadow system.
In December to January this year, 11 potential candidates participated in a fly-off at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah.
The U.S. Army plans to have each company procuring and then testing their systems over the next three years, Flight International reported in April.
The Army intends to purchase up to 12 air vehicle systems in all for testing. The units will rotate through a Combat Training Center during FY20, evaluating their assigned system in a realistic, tough training environment.
Soldier’s feedback will help determine the “decide” element by informing requirements for a potential Shadow replacement at a much more accelerated pace.