US Navy contracts Kratos for delivery of 30 BQM-177A subsonic aerial target drones

The US Naval Air Systems Command has awarded Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems a $24.3 contract modification for the low rate initial production of the subsonic aerial target BQM-177A and technical data.

Kratos is to deliver a total of 30 BQM-177A targets, 30 radar altimeters, technical manuals, training material/equipment, and contractor logistics support services under the latest modification.

Work will be performed in Sacramento, California, and is expected to be completed March 2020.

The SSAT (subsonic aerial target) program is designed to meet the US Navy’s requirements for a new high fidelity target to replicate subsonic anti-ship cruise missile threats in direct support of fleet training and weapon system testing and evaluation. The BQM-177A will initially augment, and eventually replace, the existing BQM-74E Chukar targets and will deliver longer range, lower cruise altitudes and greater maneuverability.

The BQM-177A is based on Kratos’ BQM-167X Aircraft, a derivative of the BQM-167A Skeeter Target currently being supplied to the US Air Force.

According to Kratos, the BQM-177A can support various mission requirements by carrying a variety of internal and wing tip mounted payloads, including electronic counter measures, active and passive radar augmentation, infrared, identification friend or foe, internal chaff and flare dispensing, threat emitter simulators, smoke and scoring.