The U.S. Navy Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has selected the InSitu Integrator unmanned aircraft for the Small Tactical Unmanned Air System (STUAS)/Tier II system, and awarded the system developer Insitu Inc., – a wholly owned subsidiary of the Boeing Company – a contract worth nearly $44 million for the development and fielding of the service’s next generation tactical UAS, this contract will support low-rate initial production of two systems, one each for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. Reportedly worth around $450 million, STUAS/Tier II calls for an initial fielding of 56 UAV systems, beginning in 2013. This follow-on contract worth up to $450 million. Initial operating capability is expected in fourth quarter fiscal 2013.
Early Deployment Could See Mixed Integrator, ScanEagle Units
Under the initial $43.7 million contract awarded last week (29 July 2010) Insitu will begin the 24-month engineering, manufacturing and development phase to build and test its Integrator UAS satisfying STUAS/Tier II system requirements. Following this phase the Corps will have an option to buy up to five Integrator UAV systems in fiscal 2011 for quick deployment alongside the currently fielded ScanEagle. Such an early stage operation could expand the current operational capabilities offered by ScanEagle beang leased from Boeing. ScanEagle and Integrator could share the same launch and recovery systems. The ScanEagle UAS that recently completed 340,000 combat flight hours was also built by Insitu has been leased by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps since 2004, operated and supported in the field by civil contractors.