The Australian Department of Defence is preparing an urgent operational requirement solicitation for the provision of UAV surveillance services as part of plans to significantly bolster its troop numbers in Afghanistan.
An Australian government announcement on the new deployment to the war-torn country is expected in the next fortnight.
Australian operational planners have been canvassing the UAV services requirements with a number of existing UAV service providers over the past two months. This includes talks with Boeing Australia about a sole-source arrangement for the supply of additional Boeing-Insitu Scan Eagle systems.
Australia signed a $12.7 million six-month service lease with Boeing Australia to supply Boeing-Insitu Scan Eagle UAV services for a six-month period in November last year. Those systems are supporting Australian troops in Iraq.