ST. LOUIS, June 28 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy has tapped Boeing to support pre-Milestone A activities for the Navy's Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike program.
Support includes the development of a concept of operations, an analysis of alternatives and an investigation of potential material solutions for the UCLASS program.
"The Navy wants UCLASS in the fleet in 2018," said Jimmy Dodd, vice president, Advanced Boeing Military Aircraft.
"Boeing has been delivering carrier-based aircraft to the Navy since 1925. With Boeing's broad experience in unmanned systems and rapid prototyping, and nearly 90 years of carrier-based aircraft know-how, we are prepared to meet that schedule to support the mission and requirements the Navy establishes.
"This contract is the start of that," Dodd said.
The UCLASS system will consist of an air segment, a connectivity and control segment, a Carrier Vessel-Nuclear segment (launch and recovery), and a systems support segment. The work on the eight-month contract will conceptually demonstrate that a UCLASS system can provide a persistent CVN-based intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and strike capability supporting carrier air wing operations in the 2018 time frame.
The study contract carries a value of $480,000.