ScanEagle UAV, pictured, is a fee-for-service catapult-launched UAV network deployed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information for special forces on the ground. Photo courtesy of Boeing
June 20 (UPI) -- Insitu has received a maximum $45 million modification to an existing contract for Mid-Endurance Unmanned Aircraft Systems services.
The modification covers a 12-month extension of the existing contract, with the total value of the contract not to exceed $195 million. The extension is needed to cover gaps in vital services while the transition to the MEUAS III program is underway.
The contract will be based on task orders and funded by operations and maintenance appropriations. Fiscal 2017 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $3.3 million have been obligated upon the award.
Insitu, a Boeing subsidiary, and Textron Systems Unmanned Systems have been selected to compete for fee-for-service contracts that could be worth up to $475 million.
Insitu began its fee-for-service operations in 2004, using Boeing's ScanEagle UAV to support the U.S. Marine Corps in Fallujah, Iraq. It's contract to provide MEUAS services for Special Operations Command was not renewed and MEUAS II was awarded to Textron subsidiary AAI instead in 2012.
AAI experienced significant delays and cost overruns in setting up its Aerosonde UAV network. It was dismissed from the contract for poor performance and the original service provider, Insitu, was tapped to fill the gap in "MEUAS 1.5" with its ScanEagle system.
MEUAS is a fee-for-service or "power by the hour" contractor-owned and operated UAV network deployed in support of SOCOM operations. It uses catapult-launched mid-sized UAVs to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information to special forces on the ground.
Textron hopes to unseat Insitu again with it's Aerosonde UAV despite the program's failure in 2013.
"After proudly working with the U.S. Special Operations Command under the MEUAS II contract, we look forward to continuing this relationship and fulfilling their operational expectations," David Phillips,
vice president of small and medium endurance UAS at Textron Systems, said in a press release.