Contract modification brings BAE more robotic work

BAE Systems North America Inc. won a contract modification for an Army armed robotic vehicle program that is worth at least $122.3 million, according to company officials.

The modification increases the total value of the System Development and Demonstration contract from $189 million to $311.3 million, said BAE Systems officials from the unit based in McLean, Va. That figure could rise to $320.5 million if $9.2 million in task orders are authorized.

The modification was awarded in April, but BAE was only recently given permission to make the announcement, a company official said.

In 2003, Science Applications International Corp. selected BAE to design and develop two robotic vehicle variants to provide vehicles with the ability to see and strike the enemy first, while offering soldiers protection in high-vulnerability reconnaissance and assault missions.

Under the modification, the robotic vehicle program has been accelerated and BAE is now scheduled to field the first prototypes in 2010.

The semi-autonomous robotic vehicle is the largest unmanned ground vehicle in the Army's Future Combat Systems program. It is about the size of a large pickup truck and will be deployable, either two at a time on C-130 airplanes or individually with CH-47 helicopters.

BAE Systems North America is the U.S. subsidiary of BAE Systems Plc of Farnborough, U.K. The company is ranked No. 11 on Washington Technology's 2005 Top 100 list of the largest government contractors.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Washington Technology.

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