Composite Engineering in Sacramento, CA received a $20.4 million firm-fixed-price contract modification to begin Low Rate of Initial Production Option for 38 Lot 2 BQM-167A Air Force Subscale Aerial Targets (AFSATs) and the procurement of Exhibit B-Data. This action supports foreign military sales to Singapore, and work will be complete by March 2007.
The AFSAT is a next generation drone built of composite materials, which reduces its weight and thus increases its range and flight time. It will be the primary aerial target for training USAF fighter pilots in the coming years, and can also be used to test anti-aircraft defenses. With an overall length of 20 ft and a wingspan just short of 11 ft, the BQM-167A is capable of speeds in excess of .91 Mach, aggressive advanced maneuvers up to 9g, and performance in an altitude envelope from 20 feet to 50,000 feet. It has the ability to stay aloft over 3 hours, over 7 cubic feet of configurable internal payload space, and the ability to carry external payloads on each wing. Boeing, which is a major subcontractor to CEI on the Skeeter program, has announced a design study for the “BGM-167”, a multipurpose UAV based on the BQM-167A.
The Headquarters Air Armament Center at Eglin Air Force Base, FL issued the contract (F08635-02-C-0005, P00019).
The aerial target sale comes as Singapore is considering a major modernization of its fighter plane force. The Eurofighter Typhoon was recently dropped from the 20-plane competition, leaving Boeing’s F-15 Strike Eagle and Dassault’s Rafale as the remaining contenders.