U.S. Navy Exercises Option for Lot 2 Full Rate Production of BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Targets

Kratos has received an additional $38.69 million from the U.S. Navy for Lot 2 of its recently-awarded Full Rate Production (FRP) contract for an additional 48 BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Targets (SSAT) and associated technical data.

Steve Fendley, President of Kratos Unmanned Systems Division, said, “The SSAT is an incredibly high-performance threat representation system consistently providing performance levels previously unachievable. The exercise of the FRP Lot 2 option secures the uninterrupted production of our SSAT system well into the Government’s Fiscal Year (GFY) 2023. Concurrently, we have been part of the Navy’s site activation plan and I couldn’t be prouder of the part we played in supporting the first flight at the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii last month. Under Captain Molly Boron’s leadership, the NAVAIR-Kratos team is already halfway to its goal of achieving Full Operational Capability (FOC) in GFY21. Even under normal circumstances, achievement of FOC would be very challenging but to be making the progress we have during this pandemic is a testament both to the Navy’s leadership and the commitment and perseverance of the Kratos team during these challenging times.”

Kratos is now nearing completion of the third and final Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract for 34 BQM-177A SSATs awarded by U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). The company recently delivered the 100th production BQM-177A SSAT to NAVAIR.

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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