Leidos Inc. was awarded a $22.7 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract by the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) for a De Havilland Canada Dash 8 aircraft, with modifications in support of USSOCOM requirements.
The contract (H92238-20-C-0001) is multi-year and funded with fiscal 2020 procurement, defense-wide appropriations. The majority of the work will be performed in Bridgewater, Virginia.
In February, USSOCOM announced that it intends to procure a ‘highly modified’ Dash 8 aircraft from Leidos for mission support operations under the DHC-8 Fixed Wing Mission Support Aircraft program. According to the USSOCOM, Leidos the “only source with the product and engineering technical data required to support the delivery of an airworthy modified DHC-8 without substantial duplication of cost and schedule based upon previously certified specific DHC-8 configurations delivered to the Government”.
Leidos has already supplied Dash 8-based Airborne Reconnaissance Low-Enhanced (ARL-E) and Saturn Arch intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms to the U.S. military.
The ARL-E, designated RO-6A, is a manned multiple-intelligence (Multi-INT) airborne platform operated by the U.S. Army that provides a persistent capability to detect, locate, classify/identify and track surface targets in day/night, near-all-weather conditions, with a high degree of timeliness and accuracy. ARL-E consists of a modified DHC-8-Q315 fixed-wing aircraft equipped with a reconfigurable payload with enhanced Communications Intelligence (COMINT) and Imagery Intelligence (IMINT) sensors.
The Saturn Arch Program began in 2010 with an effort to implement ISR capabilities to a special mission aircraft fitted with state of the art sensor technology to identify and assist in removing Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) from the battlefield in Afghanistan. The aircraft was initially operated by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) but was later transferred to the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM).