Leidos Australia announced it has added the Aeronautics Ltd to its bid for the replacement of the Australian Army’s Tactical Unmanned Aerial System (TUAS) through Project Land 129 Phase 3.
Leidos Australia was recently named as one of four companies shortlisted to compete for the conceptual system integration design phase of the project.
The strategic partnership will bring together Leidos’ global leadership in Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) integration, and Aeronautics’ deep experience as a leading supplier of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), to deliver a next generation, tactical solution for the Australian Army.
“Leidos conducted an exhaustive search to identify capable platforms in class that can provide optimum capabilities to the Australian Army,” said Acting Leidos Australia Chief Executive, Paul Chase. “We are excited to have Aeronautics join our team. We look forward to combining the capabilities of both companies to create a highly-qualified team with a strong technology footprint in Australia.”
“We are excited to team with Leidos and offer our advanced capabilities to the Australian Army,” said Moshe Elazar, Chief Executive Officer of Aeronautics Group, a subsidiary of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. “We are also determined to have an exceptionally positive impact on the Australian industry by further developing local skills and capabilities whilst giving access to our global supply chain.”
Leidos Australia recently called for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from Australian suppliers and Small to Medium Enterprises (SME) to join their Project Land 129 Phase 3 team. Capabilities being sought include composite manufacturing, payloads for Tier 2 UAVs, mechanical assembly, training services, warehousing support, logistics support, UAV operations and maintenance support. Leidos is committed to transitioning superior technology to Australia and supporting local industry growth by further developing this capability in-country.
The deadline for the submission of EOIs is 14 May 2020.
LAND 129 Phase 3
Australian Army’s LAND 129 Phase 3 project seeks to replace the service’s Shadow 200 Tactical Unmanned Aerial System (UAS).
The four down-selected companies for the project are:
• Insitu Pacific Pty Ltd
• Leidos Australia
• Raytheon Australia Pty Ltd
• Textron Systems Australia Pty Ltd
With the down-selection, the program has progressed to the tendering process. The four companies were selected through an abbreviated Invitation To Register process and will be provided a detailed Request for Tender (RFT), to further explore plans and conceptual integration designs.
The next phase of the project will focus on a competitive evaluation of more comprehensive tendered solutions from the four Primes, prior to progressing the project to Government consideration in 2021.
The current Tactical UAS (TUAS) in service with the Australian Army is the Textron Systems/AAI Corporation RQ-7B Shadow 200 Version 1 (SH200 v1).
The Shadow 200 is operated by the Army’s 20th Surveillance and Target Acquisition Regiment (20 STA Regt) and was procured under Joint Project 129 Phase 2 (JP129-2). It provides Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) support for land force operations.
According to the Army, the Shadow 200 v1 is becoming obsolescent from 2019 and will be replaced by the Shadow 200 v2 in the U.S. Army inventory, the primary operator of the UAS. The Army claims that the Shadow 200 (both v1 and v2 versions) have a number of capability shortfalls that do not support the Army’s need for a deployable, amphibious, runway independent capability.