FCS Team Issues Final Requests for Proposals for Class II and III Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), as the Lead Systems Integrator team for the U.S. Army's Future Combat Systems (FCS) program, recently released separate Requests for Proposals for development of FCS Class II and III Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) systems. Industry participants will have 30 days in which to respond with contract awards anticipated in early August.
A phased acquisition approach will be implemented for Class II and III development efforts, working collaboratively with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Multiple contracts will be awarded in early August 2005 for Phase I, involving technology and risk reduction demonstrations. Phase II will include flight, logistics and training demonstrations of both industry- and DARPA-developed systems. Candidates will be evaluated for their suitability to meet FCS requirements during a 24-month concept maturation phase, which will result in down-selects for the final phase of System Design and Development when the LSI and Army will select the best-value solution for Class II and III systems.
"Leveraging best-of-industry solutions and current government development efforts will yield innovative, affordable and technologically superior UAV systems," said Mark Franzblau, FCS UAV integrated product team leader. "Such systems will dramatically enhance situational awareness and soldier survivability on the battlefield."
The Class II UAV system will provide reconnaissance, security/early warning, target acquisition and designation at the company level in support of line-of-sight, beyond line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight engagements. It will be vehicle mounted, capable of taking off and landing in unimproved areas and provide enhanced dedicated imagery, accomplishing its mission while being cued remotely by Army personnel.
The Class III UAV system will have greater endurance and a larger payload-carrying capacity than the Class II system. It will be a multifunction aerial combat support system capable of providing reconnaissance, communications relay, security/early warning, target acquisition and designation at the battalion level. The Class III system also will provide remote reconnaissance and terrain information, and be capable of taking off and landing in unimproved areas.
Both FCS Class II and III UAV systems, once operational, will be deployed with the first full FCS-equipped unit of action beginning in 2014.
SAIC is the nation's largest employee-owned research and engineering company, providing information technology, systems integration and eSolutions to commercial and government customers. SAIC engineers and scientists work to solve complex technical problems in national and homeland security, energy, the environment, space, telecommunications, health care, transportation and logistics. With annual revenues of nearly $7 billion, SAIC and its subsidiaries, including Telcordia Technologies, have more than 45,000 employees at offices in more than 150 cities worldwide. More information about SAIC can be found at www.saic.com.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis , Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $30.5 billion business. It provides network-centric system solutions to its global military, government, and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in sustainment solutions and launch services.