The U.S. Navy has awarded the target drone builder Kratos a contract modification for Full Rate Production (Lot 2) of the BQM-177A subsonic aerial target system.
The deal, which was a modification to a previous contract, is worth almost $38,7 million and covered work to produce additional jet-powered unmanned aerial systems to provide realistic threat representation for developmental and operational testing of major DoD and international weapon systems.
Steve Fendley, President of Kratos Unmanned Systems Division, said, “The SSAT is an incredibly high-performance threat representation system consistently providing performance levels previously unachievable.”
“The exercise of the FRP Lot 2 option secures the uninterrupted production of our SSAT system well into the Government’s Fiscal Year (GFY) 2023. Concurrently, we have been part of the Navy’s site activation plan and I couldn’t be prouder of the part we played in supporting the first flight at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii last month,” Steve Fendley also said adding that “Under Captain Molly Boron’s leadership, the NAVAIR-Kratos team is already halfway to its goal of achieving Full Operational Capability (FOC) in GFY21. Even under normal circumstances, achievement of FOC would be very challenging but to be making the progress we have during this pandemic is a testament both to the Navy’s leadership and the commitment and perseverance of the Kratos team during these challenging times.”
BQM-177A is a recoverable target that will replace the legacy recoverable BQM-74E target with a modernized subsonic target with increased capabilities.The target is capable of speeds in excess of 0.9 Mach and a sea-skimming altitude as low as 10 feet.
In February 2019, the BQM-177A reached Initial Operational Capability.