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Three unmanned aircraft to contest $874 million US Navy programme

AAI, Boeing and a Computer Sciences Corp (CSC)/Saab team were selected by the US Navy today to compete for task orders for services provided by unmanned air systems (UAS) worth up to $874 million.

While the navy did not reveal the selected aircraft, AAI offered the latest version of the Aerosonde, Boeing and subsidiary Insitu offered the ScanEagle, and the CSC/Saab team proposed Skeldar unmanned helicopter.


© AAI/Textron

The services included in the selection include the full spectrum of training, support, installation and operation.

The navy plans to operate the aircraft from ships, while the marines intend to launch the unmanned air vehicles mainly from land bases.

"AAI and Insitu are eligible to compete for both sea-based and land-based task orders. CSC is only eligible to compete for land-based task orders," the navy said.

The three bidders will replace the Boeing/Insitu Scan Eagle as the main UAV provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance services to the navy and marines.

The ISR Services bidders will then be replaced after fiscal year 2017 as the RQ-21 Integrator enters the fleet in numbers under the small tactical unmanned air systems programme.

Neither the navy nor corporate representatives were immediately available for comment.

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