Honeywell Lands FCS Class I UAV Contract
In “One Small Step for a UAV, One Big Step for FCS Class I,” DID offered in-depth covered Honeywell’s Class I UAV Micro Air Vehicle (MAV), which had an inside track to become the US Army’s Future Combat Systems’ Class I backpackable platoon-level UAV. A $1.7 million order from Honeywell Aerospace in February 2006 for 55 Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) airframes was an indication that things were ramping up – and now Honeywell is very close to its goal.
Future Combat Systems lead integrators Boeing and SAIC have now awarded Honeywell Defense & Space Electronic Systems a $61 million contract to develop the Class I Unmanned Aerial Vehicle System. UPDATE: In August, 2006, Honeywell announced that it was teaming with UAV maker AAI to deliver 20 prototype Class I UAVs.
See DID’s in-depth coverage of FCS Class I-IV UAVs for a review of the various competitors and how the selection process works. In addition to its MAV/Class I activity with DARPA, Honeywell has been working under an FCS systems engineering contract, including gap analysis and early risk mitigation, to ensure MAV technology will meet the full set of FCS Class I requirements. The team recently completed a system functional review verifying that the technology is on track and, following an update to the design to meet all FCS requirements, will be ready to be integrated into the FCS networked system-of-systems. First prototype deliveries and flight tests are scheduled for December 2008, and the Class I UAV is slated as a second-stage early spinout within the FCS program.
UPDATES: See DID’s FOCUS Article re: the MAV mini-UAV, and the FCS Class 1 program.