Teledyne Technologies has announced that Teledyne Brown Engineering was one of three companies awarded a multi-million dollar contract by Boeing, the Lead Systems Integrator for the U.S. Army's Future Combat Systems program, for phase one of the Class III Unmanned Aerial Vehicle development and demonstration under the FCS program.
The value of Teledyne's phase one contract is $3.7 million.
Teledyne Brown's UAV, "Prospector", will be evaluated on Class III critical performance requirements. Prospector is a proven, reliable and flexible UAV system that currently meets most of the Class III requirements. Prospector is a rapidly deployable system that provides advanced tactical reconnaissance and surveillance.
The FCS Class III UAV effort is a multi-phase award. Phase one, expected to last 10 months, includes requirements assessment and risk reduction trade studies on initial UAV concepts.
Companies will compete for the second phase award, which will consist of prototype production and flight demonstration and is scheduled for a mid-2006 award. A single company will be selected to compete against the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's (DARPA) vehicle for the third phase award, production.
"It was a strategic decision for Teledyne to reenter the UAV market at this time," said Robert Mehrabian, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Teledyne Technologies.
"Prospector provides a solution that not only meets the specifications of the U.S. Army, but also fits the needs of other branches of the military, those of international governments and other non-defense groups as well. We are proud to have been selected as one of Boeing's FCS partners."
The baseline vehicle was originally developed by Rheinmetall Defence Electronics for the German Army and is now fielded by NATO troops. In October of 2004, Teledyne Brown and Rheinmetall Defence Electronics entered into an alliance to market Prospector and other UAVs to the U.S. government.
Prospector, which will be built in Teledyne Brown's manufacturing facilities in Huntsville, has a highly automated mission planning system, a rapid launch capability and a parachute and air bag landing system.
Prospector also features high-precision navigation using GPS and onboard inertial navigation, a high jam-resistant digital data link, high level of autonomous operation and computer-aided sensor control that enables target tracking and image manipulation.
The system is C-130 transportable, can be launched and recovered without an airfield and can be integrated with existing and projected command and control components.
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