Kratos Receives U.S. Navy Contract for 35 BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Targets

Kratos Unmanned Aerial System Inc. is awarded a $29 million firm-fixed-price contract by the U.S. Navy for the production and delivery of 35 full rate production Lot I BQM-177A subsonic aerial targets.

This is the first full rate production contract awarded by the Navy for the BQM-177A aerial target drones. The Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) is the contracting activity (N00019-20-C-0075).

The contract also includes associated technical and administrative data in support of Navy Aerial Targets Program Office.

Work will be performed in Sacramento, California (55.8%); Dallas, Texas (17.6%); Fort Walton Beach, Florida (4.6%); Springfield, Pennsylvania (2.6%); Newton, Kansas (2.1%); Concord, California (1.9%); Milwaukie, Oregon (1.8%); Santa Ana, California (1.8%); Chatsworth, California (1.5%); Greybull, Wyoming (1.3%); and various location within the continental U.S. (9%), and is expected to be completed by February 2022.

BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target (SSAT)

BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target (SSAT) is a recoverable target that is replacing the Navy’s legacy recoverable BQM-74E Chukar III target. It is a modernized subsonic target with increased capabilities.

The SSAT replicates modern subsonic anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) threats launched from air, land, surface and subsurface to test the effectiveness of shipboard air defense systems and used for fleet training. The target is capable of speeds in excess of 0.9 Mach and a sea-skimming altitude as low as 6.6 feet.

This highly-versatile aerial target supports a variety of mission requirements by carrying a wide array of internal and external payloads, including proximity scoring, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF), passive and active RF augmentation, electronic counter-measures, infrared (IR) augmentation (plume pods), chaff and flare dispensers, and towed targets.

The first production BQM-177A drone system was delivered to the U.S. Navy in 2018 under the Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Year One contract worth approximately $37 million. BQM-177A achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC) with the U.S. Navy on Feb. 27, 2019.

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