U.S Government Awards Contracts to Kratos & Boeing for Deployment of Aerial Targets

Published By: IndustryARC Published On : 29-Jun-2016

Target Drones are sub-class of aerial targets that are created specifically for research, development, testing and evaluation purposes. These drones have several applications such as target & decoy, reconnaissance, training and testing of new weapons. Among its different applications training is the most dominant application. Target drones have applications during training exercises and weapon systems evaluations. Aerial targets allow soldiers to hone their combat edge in preparation for battle. Without these aerial targets, soldiers would enter combat zones unprepared which results in higher causalities. Target drones provide a means of realistically testing new and existing weapon systems. This testing enables military personal to find defects and identify areas that need development.

U.S. is one of the largest markets for target drone globally. These drones are being used by the government for training, reconnaissance and weapons testing & development.  The United States Air Force has recently awarded $18.7 million contract to Kratos Defence & Security Solutions Inc. for providing 21 AFSAT target drones. These target systems are used as high fidelity enemy threat surrogates simulating the performance of certain threat aircrafts and missiles. The U.S. air force and other allied militaries globally are planning to use these for testing and training requirements. Kratos is one of the leading providers of high performance aerial target systems, unmanned aerial ground and sea platforms, command, control, avionics and termination systems.

The U.S air force has also awarded a contract worth $34.4 million to Boeing for building and delivering 30 QF-16s which are to be used as moving aerial targets for fighter pilot training. These drones serve as targets for pilots to test munitions, to lock on and to eventually shoot down. The QF 16 aerial targets have a life of about 300 flight hours and serve as unmanned platform to shoot out of the air.

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