American engineering firm Kratos Defense & Security Solutions has been awarded a $50.9 million contract to produce BQM-177A subsonic aerial target drones for the US Navy and foreign military clients.
As part of the agreement, the tech company will deliver 50 BQM-177A units to the Navy, seven to the government of Japan, and eight to Saudi Arabia.
The award also reportedly provides for technical and administrative data necessary to run full-rate production of the unmanned aerial targets.
Kratos Unmanned Systems Division president Steve Fendley explained that his team is proud and happy to have secured a third consecutive full-rate production contract for its BQM-177A target drones.
He also expressed the company’s excitement to provide 15 state-of-the-art drone targets for US allies.
“Throughout the challenges of the last two years, Kratos has remained focused on developing, producing, and delivering target and tactical drone systems to support the established and forecasted customer needs,” Fendley said in a press release.
The BQM-177A Aerial Target
Originally developed for use by the US Navy, the BQM-177A subsonic aerial target features an aerodynamic design that provides formidable threat emulation for air-to-air engagements.
The target drone has a maximum speed of Mach 0.95 and can fly as low as 6.6 feet (2 meters).
Kratos explained that the “highly-versatile” technology can support various mission requirements through a wide array of features, including Identification Friend or Foe technology, passive and active radio frequency augmentation, electronic countermeasures, and infrared augmentation.