Four nab $15M contracts to assess UCLASS UAV

The Navy has given the go ahead to four companies to continue their design development for the UCLASS aircraft, meant to give carriers added surveillance and defense capabilities .

Four contractors have won $15 million contracts with the U.S. Navy to provide a preliminary design review assessment for the UCLASS unmanned aerial vehicle.

The four winners are:

  • Boeing
  • General Atomics
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Northrop Grumman

The Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike Air Vehicle is meant to enhance aircraft carrier/air wing operations. It's related to NAVAIR's RFP on June 10 for further design studies on the Navy's UCLASS system.

The system itself is meant to give carriers longer range surveillance capabilities, as well as the ability to launch weapons from beyond the range of current manned strike aircraft, according to USNI News. The actual UCLASS vehicle will accomplish this.

Work will be performed in El Segundo, Calif., and is expected to be completed by June 2014.

Funding in the amount of $4.8 million is obligated at the time of the award, and will not expire at the end of fiscal 2013.

Contracts were not competitively procured according to the FAR 6.302-1(a)(2), the Defense Department said. This is because these four companies responded to a 2012 Broad Area Announcement to further the design proposals ahead of a competition for a final airframe design, USNI News reported.

NAVAIR will release a final RFP in 2014 that will be openly competed, USNI News reported.

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