AAI Receives up to $102.6M in New Contracts for its RQ-7 Shadow UAVs
AAI Corp. of Hunt Valley, MD has now detailed 3 contracts announced by U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command in Redstone Arsenal, AL on October 5, 2006. While the initial awards add up to $57.7 million, AAI states that their total potential value is $102.6 million. This contract follows $152.7 million in contracts for 36 Shadow UAVs, associated systems, and support in May 2006. In addition to the production and upgrade of RQ-7 Shadow tactical UAVs, AAI provides performance-based logistics support and sustainment operations for fielded and deployed U.S. Army TUAS units; these contracts cover both production and support.
As of October 2006, Shadow systems have flown more than 33,900 missions and in excess of 129,000 flight hours worldwide – more than 85% of them in connection with operations in Iraq and/or Afghanistan. DID has covered some of these experiences, and lessons learned. The new contracts follow below:
All contracts are issued to AAI Corp. in Hunt Valley, MD; work will be performed there at AAI’s manufacturing facilities. Information is taken from the DefenseLINK announcements, and AAI’s October 16, 2006 release.
Oct 5/06: A $32.6 million modification to a cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-fixed-price contract for production of 5 more RQ-7 Shadow 200 unmanned aerial vehicle systems and associated support equipment. Work is expected to be complete by Dec. 31, 2009. This was a sole source contract initiated on Jan. 11, 2006 (W31P4Q-06-C-0292). AAI defines the number of systems, and notes that up an additional $30.9 million modification may be added by the first quarter of 2007.
Each system includes 4 advanced RQ-7B Shadow TUAS air vehicles (for a total of 20), 2 ground control stations (total of 10), and associated components and support equipment.
Oct 5/06: A $13.2 million modification to a firm-fixed-price contract for engine modification kits and associated spares for the Shadow 200 unmanned aircraft system. AAI reports that this includes an upgrade of the electro-optical/infra-red payload equipment to the newest POP-300 configuration for the existing fleet of Shadow aircraft, additional engines for fleet retrofit, and enhancement of AAI’s interoperable One System(R) ground control stations to a single configuration, consistent with the current production baseline. Additional funding is expected by the first quarter of 2007, and AAI gives the contract’s total potential at $27.6 million. Work is expected to be complete by Sept. 30, 2008. This was a sole source contract initiated on June 9, 2006 (W31P4Q-06-C-0292).
AAI’s One System ground control station is designed to be compatible and interoperable with multiple unmanned aircraft systems in AAI’s stable and beyond, including the aptly-named RQ-2 Pioneer, RQ-5 Hunter, the RQ-7 Shadow TUAS(Tactical Unmanned Aerial System), the Class IV RQ-8 Fire Scout helicopter UAV, the Eagle Eye VTUAV(Vertical Takeoff Unmanned Arisal Vehicle) tilt-rotor, the future Warrior UAV, and the long-endurance Aerosonde. In addition, the One System design complies with the emerging NATO STANAG 4586 for standard interfaces of UAV control systems. One System(R) is based on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components and features a modular design with redundant hardware and a UNIX-based operating system as its base.
Oct 5/06: An $11.4 million modification to a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for special unit training support preparations for the RQ-7 Shadow TUAS. Work is expected to be complete by Dec. 31, 2006. This was a sole source contract initiated on Sept. 26, 2006 (W31P4Q-06-C-0256). AAI describes this contract in somewhat different terms, as one that “authorizes repair and refurbishment of Shadow systems used in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and the Global War on Terrorism.”
- US Army (Oct 2/07) – UAS Video Terminal Connects Boots on the Ground to Eyes in the Sky. Covers OneSystem. “The OSRVT is soon to be one of the Army’s premier programs of record,” said Col. Don Hazelwood, Army UAS project manager. PEO Aviation fielded the first of 1,000 OSRVTs in February, and the system will soon be common throughout the modular force. Laptop units are in use by ground combat teams, while 12 command and control UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters are already equipped with this system. OSRVTs have been integrated into 28 Strykers headed to Iraq, and the system will be in Apache cockpits by next summer.”