Boeing Australia’s contract awards for the Australian Army’s Joint Project 129 tactical unmanned air vehicle project are worth a total of A$102.8 million ($80 million).

Australian government purchasing records obtained by Flight International show that the deal is structured in two parts, a primary acquisition contract for the IAI I-View 250 UAV worth A$74.5 million and a systems integration award worth A$28.4 million. The second contract supports acquisition and integration of the L3 Systems tactical common datalinks by Boeing Australia.

Both contracts are fixed price and run from 21 December 2006 to 31 December 2010.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has separately announced that its share of the acquisition contract is worth $45 million. This includes delivery of two UAV systems including ground control station and sensor systems.

The Australian government is separately spending some A$17.5 million on development of basing facilities for the UAV systems at the Australian Army’s Gallipoli Barracks in suburban Brisbane.

Meanwhile Boeing Australia has now confirmed it has deployed Boeing-Insitu Scan Eagle systems into Iraq to support Australian Army operations under a A$12.72 million services contract with Boeing Australia signed 8 November.

In a 5 January statement Boeing Australia general manager, Advanced UAVs Lindsay Pears said: “ScanEagle has proven to be one of the U.S. military's most effective tools for reconnaissance and surveillance for force protection missions. We expect the system will be equally valuable to the Australian Army to help protect our troops.

“We are pleased to support the Australian Army’s rapid acquisition of services to be provided by this advanced UAV system. It has been a great joint effort by Boeing, Insitu and the Commonwealth [federal government] to bring this project together so quickly in order to support operations in the field.”