U.S. Navy awards $35.5 million target drone contract to Kratos

SAN DIEGO. Kratos Defense & Security Solutions' Unmanned Systems Division (USD) has been awarded an amendment to a previously awarded contract to exercise an option for Low Rate Initial Production Year 1 (LRIP 1) from the U.S. Navy for BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target (SSAT) drone systems. The SSAT LRIP 1 order has an initial value of $34.5 million; coincident with the LRIP 1 order, Kratos also won the contract to provide contractor logistics support (CLS), with the initial value of the CLS award at $2.53 million for fiscal 2017.

The SSAT program aims to meet the U.S. Navy's requirements for a new high fidelity target to replicate subsonic antiship cruise missile threats used for fleet training and weapon system testing and evaluation. The BQM-177A will initially be used alongside, but will eventually replace, the existing BQM-74E Chukar targets. The updated targets are designed to deliver longer range, lower cruise altitudes, and greater maneuverability.

The BQM-177A is is able to satisfy differing mission requirements by carrying a variety of internal and wing-tip-mounted payloads, including electronic countermeasures, active and passive radar augmentation, infrared, identification friend or foe, internal chaff and flare dispensing, threat emitter simulators, smoke, and scoring.