The rapid increase in the use of unmanned vehicles has created a demand for the U.S. Navy to find talented drone operators. Typically, the Navy has assigned aviators to operate drones, but this has taken away from their traditional aviation assignments, according to an article from Warren Duffie of Office of Naval Research (ONR) Corporate Strategic Communications.
The Navy is turning to Alion Science and Technology Corp. of McLean, Virginia to develop unmanned systems to use in mine warfare, amphibious warfare, surface warfare, diving and life support, coastal and underwater intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and other missions in the littoral and riverine environments. DOD awarded the company a $13,549,993 cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for development, integration, testing and evaluation of prototype systems for existing or emerging unmanned vehicles, unmanned weapons and unmanned weapons control systems.
AAI Corp., doing business as Textron Systems, Hunt Valley, Maryland, is being awarded a $14,820,302 fixed-price-incentive modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-14-C-6322) to exercise Unmanned Influence Sweep System options for mine countermeasure system requirements. This modification to the contract will provide additional units to support mine countermeasure requirements. The system will satisfy the Navy’s need for a rapid, wide-area coverage mine clearance capability.
Today’s ruggedized robots will go where man has gone before—and where man should no longer have to go. While U.S. defense officials are not ready to fully relinquish warfighting duties to robots, they are on the fast track to acquiring technologies and platforms anticipated to shake up military operations.
The U.S. Navy’s Program Executive Office (PEO) for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons is striving for better integration of sensors and weapon systems across the entire domain. This entails smoothing the way for upgrades by standardizing equipment from sensors to platforms.
Rear Adm. (S) Mark W. Darrah, USN, is the PEO for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons. Adm. Darrah comes from the electronic attack community, including an aviation command tour, before he entered the acquisition world more than a decade ago. He has held positions in the EA-18G Growler, the F/A-18 and the Joint Strike Fighter programs. The admiral has been in his current PEO position for six months.
Kutta Technologies Inc., Phoenix, Arizona, was awarded a $9 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Synergistic Unmanned Manned Intelligent Teaming Mission Tasking System. Army Contracting Command, Fort Eustis, Virginia is the contracting activity (W911W6-14-D-0001).
Northrop Grumman Technical Services, Sierra Vista, Ariz., was awarded a $20,236,014 modification (P00020) to contract W58RGZ-13-C-0010 for contractor logistic services for the Hunter unmanned aircraft system (UAS). Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity.