$91.2M to RESET, Improve US Army’s MQ-5B UAVsOct 10, 2011 16:59 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff
Northrop Grumman Technical Services in Sierra Vista, AZ recently received a $91.2 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to RESET its MQ-5B Hunters to “zero flight hours” condition, and incorporate the Tactical Common Data Link and Interoperability Engineering Change Proposal. Work will be performed in Sierra Vista, AZ, with an estimated completion date of Dec 30/12. One bid was solicited, with one bid received by U.S. Army Contracting Command in Redstone Arsenal, AL (W58RGZ-08-C-0025).
Originally designed by Israel Aircraft Industries, the Q-5 Hunter is the US Army’s oldest UAV. It entered service in 1996 as the RQ-5A, which saw action in Kosovo. Northrop Grumman is IAI’s American marketing and development partner, and their MQ-5B is the latest version. It adds weapon pylons for payloads like the GBU-44 Viper Strike, heavy fuel engines, an extended fuel-carrying wing that nearly doubles endurance to 21 hours, new datalinks and IFF, OneSystem GCS compatibility, and a modern avionics suite that includes automated takeoff and landing. MQ-5Bs first flew in July 2005, and deployed to the front lines a year later. Just under 30 UAVs of this type are in service, but they continue to rack up flying time, passing 100,000 hours in January 2011.