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Fri, Jan 07, 2005

BAE Systems To Develop UAV for DARPA

Part Of Phase One In Organic Air Vehicle Project

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), has selected BAE Systems as one of three companies to develop a ducted-fan unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as part of a first phase of its Organic Air Vehicle Class II (OAV II) program. The award of the design and development contract follows a competitive selection process.

The multimillion-dollar contract calls for the development and demonstration of a ducted-fan UAV for operation in diverse missions such as environment reconnaissance and surveillance, path finding for friendly ground vehicles (both robotics and manned), maneuver force protection, and targeting for non-line-of-sight fire operations. At the end of the three-phase program, the OAV-II vehicle should be of sufficient maturity to transition into an Army System Development and Demonstration program to fulfill the Army's requirement for a Class II UAV.

"BAE Systems looks forward to presenting DARPA with a prototype ducted fan air vehicle that meets the needs of the war fighter," said Tom Herring, vice president of Integrated Solutions for BAE Systems Platform Solutions. "This selection also represents an excellent opportunity to grow our presence in the quickly emerging UAV market."

BAE Systems Platform Solutions has a 30-year UAV heritage and is actively developing vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) UAVs to expand its UAV portfolio. "DARPA's selection complements our existing and proven UAV programs," Herring said. "Our selection by DARPA reflects well on our expanding technology and know-how in this field."

FMI: www.na.baesystems.com

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