Four Winners of US Navy’s UCLASS Preliminary Design Contracts
Four defense industry leaders, namely Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., the Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. have each been awarded $15 million firm-fixed-price contract for a preliminary design review assessment for the Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) Air Vehicle.
The objective of the UCLASS system is to enhance aircraft carrier/air wing operations by providing a responsive, world-wide presence via an organic, sea-based Unmanned Aerial System, with persistent intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting, and strike capabilities.
The U.S. Navy’s UCLASS program will develop a long duration, carrier-based UAS capable of operations by 2018. The program is aligned under Program Executive Officer for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons (PEO (U&W)).
Even though the final program requirements were supposed to be published in the fall of 2012, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) representatives announced a delay in the request for proposal to early 2013.
In March 2013, NAVAIR announced that it would award four firm-fixed-price contracts in 2014 to conduct a preliminary design review to Boeing in St. Louis, Missouri; Northrop Grumman in El Segundo, California; General Atomics Aeronautical systems in Poway, California; and to Lockheed Martin in Palmdale, California.
Work will be performed in El Segundo, Palmdale and Poway in California along with St. Louis, Mo. and is expected to be completed in June 2014.
Naval Today Staff, August 15, 2013; Image: Lockheed Martin