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ABM | Contracts - Awards | General Atomics | IT - Software & Integration | R&D - Contracted | Sensors & Guidance | UAVs | USA

Ballistic Missile Tracking with UAVs: HALE, Well Met

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MQ-9 Reaper(click to view full) Aug 5/11: The US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) announces a maximum $48.4 million indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to General Atomics Aeronautical in Poway, CA to develop and demonstrate “precision three-dimensional tracking of ballistic missiles from a long endurance, high-altitude unmanned air system.” This contract was competitively procured via a broad agency announcement, with “multiple white papers received in response,” and work will be performed in Poway, CA from August 2011 through August 2016. $11.8 million in FY 2011 research, development, test and evaluation funds will be used to incrementally fund the 1st task order (HQ0147-11-D-0013). DAS tracks Falcon-9(click to view full) General Atomics has confirmed the identity of the HALE system as the MQ-9 Reaper UAV, whose technical maturity and 3,000 pound payload capacity make it a good test platform. This R&D effort is a logical follow-on to revelations that a June 2010 test flight of the F-35 fighter’s AN/AAQ-37 DAS 360-degree sensors successfully tracked a Falcon-9 heavy rocket launch that took place at the same time. The challenge will be turning that kind of capability into “precise 3-dimensional” coordinates, in a package that may be tested on the MQ-9, but could easily find itself […]

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