ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy as exercised an option to order 48 more BQM-177A subsonic aerial targets, following a $29.2 million order in September for 35 in the first Full-Rate Production contract.
The Naval Air Systems Command awarded Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems Inc. of Sacramento, California, a $38.7 million contract modification “to procure 48 BQM-177A subsonic aerial targets for the Navy as well as associated technical and administrative data in support of Full-Rate Production Lot Two deliveries,” according to a Dec. 9 Defense Department contract announcement. The deliveries will include replacement of one target expended by Australia.
The BQM-177A is the U.S. Navy’s newest subsonic aerial target. It can be used to simulate hostile aircraft or highly dynamic, high-subsonic, sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missiles. The target is capable of speeds in excess of 0.95 Mach and a sea-skimming altitude as low as 6.6 feet, according to the Kratos website.
The BQM-177A can carry “a wide array of internal and external payloads, including proximity scoring, identification friend or foe, passive and active radiofrequency augmentation, electronic countermeasures, infrared augmentation (plume pods), chaff and flare dispensers, and towed targets,” the website said.