Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. announced today that it has delivered the 100th production BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target (SSAT) to the U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR).
With this delivery, Kratos is nearing completion of the third and final Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract for 34 BQM-177A SSATs awarded by NAVAIR.
Captain Molly Boron, Program Manager, Aerial Targets Program (PMA-208) stated, “I am proud to accept delivery of this 100th aircraft on behalf of the U.S. Navy. The government-industry team of PMA-208 and Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems (KUAS) has worked hard to deliver this capable target on time and on budget. 2020 has been a successful year despite COVID-19 challenges. We are completing LRIP III deliveries, have awarded the $29.2M Full Rate Production (FRP) Lot 1 contract on 29 September for 35 more BQM-177A SSATs, and are currently activating the operational site at Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) in Kauai, HI. The combined PMA-208 and KUAS team is positioned to successfully achieve Full Operational Capability this fiscal year. We are delivering targets and support equipment to Atlantic Target & Marine Operations at Dam Neck, VA in anticipation of their transition to the BQM-177A this winter. We will complete the transition of this capability when the PMRF Detachment Far East site in Okinawa, Japan is activated with a ship-launch capability. The delivery of the 100th target signifies a well-performing production line but also represents an incredible amount of teamwork enabling relevant anti-ship cruise missile training and combat system testing for the Fleet.”
Steve Fendley, President of Kratos Unmanned Systems Division, said, “The delivery of this 100th aircraft represents the very hard work of many dedicated Navy and KUAS engineering, production, program, logistics, financial, and supply chain professionals. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our Navy customers as we activate additional sites and operationalize this capability around the world. The KUAS team remains committed to the mission of providing the most capable systems and realistic training possible to the warfighters.”
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.