$6.9M to Boeing to Operate UAVs from LPD 14 USS Trenton
The Boeing Co. in St. Louis, MO is being awarded a not-to-exceed $6.9 million modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-05-C-0045) to provide persistent intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle services for the USS Trenton (LPD 14) amphibious support vessel, as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Global War on Terror. Work will be performed in St. Louis, MO and is expected to be completed in October 2006. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, MD issued the contract.
Based on similar past awards under this very same contract, the UAV in question is almost certainly the ScanEagle, which was originally created to help tuna fishman find tuna schools and monitor dolphins. Its autonomous operation and long loiter times have made it an exceptionally valuable asset in the Global War on Terror.
UPDATE: Negotiations to transfer the Austin Class LPD (Landing Platform, Dock) ship USS Trenton to India after its tour are heading toward their final stages. The Trenton can carry up to 1,500 troops, or land large amounts of relief supplies in the event of a tsunami-like disaster. Colton Company’s US shipbuilder databases note that Trenton was delivered to the US Navy in 1971.