Up to $16M to Herley for USAF Target Drone AvionicsDec 29, 2009 10:27 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff
Herley Industries in Lancaster, PA received a multi-year option contract with a potential value of $16 million from prime contractor Composite Engineering in Sacramento, CA to supply Herley’s avionics suite for the BQM-167A Air Force Subscale Aerial Target (AFSAT).
Products to be provided under the contract include command and control transponders, identification friend or foe (IFF) transponders, power distribution assemblies, electro-explosive devices, and integrated flight controllers.
The BQM-167A is the USAF’s primary aerial target for training fighter pilots, and can also be used to test anti-aircraft defenses…
In late 2001, the U.S. Air Force initiated the AFSAT program for a jet-powered target drone to replace the BQM-34A Firebee and MQM-107D/E Streaker targets.
The AFSAT requirements were issued to the industry, and in July 2002, Composite Engineering’s Skeeter target, first flown in 2001, was selected for further development as the BQM-167A.
The BQM-167A is powered by a ventrally mounted turbojet engine. It can be air or ground launched, and can carry radar enhancers, IR sources, countermeasures, scoring devices, and towed targets.
The BQM-167A can reach a speed of about Mach 0.91, and fly at altitudes between 20 feet and 50,000 feet. The target drone is constructed mainly of carbon fiber composites, which makes the airframe lighter than the similar-sized BQM-34 and MQM-107.
The Herley contract encompasses a planned production span of 5 years and is the second such award for the USAF target program. Award of the option contract was followed by firm delivery orders for the 6th and 7th years of production that together are valued at approximately $6.4 million.