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BAE Systems Wins $400M IDIQ Contract to Develop UAV Digital Design; Ehtisham Siddiqui Quoted

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BAE Systems has been awarded a potential $400 million, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract to develop an air vehicle system for the Skyborg program. The company will compete to develop a digital design for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with integrated autonomous functions, BAE Systems reported on Thursday. 

“The need to generate combat power faster than our adversaries is critical to address near-peer threats,” said Ehtisham Siddiqui, vice president and general manager of Controls and Avionics Solutions at BAE Systems. “This award will accelerate the development and deployment of manned-unmanned teaming technologies to give the U.S. Air Force a decisive edge in the battlespace.”

Under the Skyborg program, BAE Systems will work to develop a low-cost autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle that will partner with manned aircraft to increase air combat power. 

Designed with BAE Systems’ autonomous systems, the UAVs will leverage autonomy to combat adversaries. The company’s systems will include sensors and payloads that communicate across a shared network with manned aircraft. 

The modular and common system approach will provide updates and integration to ensure the fleet leverages the best capabilities to defend against emerging threats. The shared network will support manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T). 

MUM-T will allow UAVs and manned aircraft to collaborate to complete missions more effectively. The network extends the reach of the fleet, while keeping the manned aircraft and personnel out of harm’s way. It will allow the UAVs to serve as the eyes and ears for pilots, collecting and sending data from the battlespace to a manned fighter.

About BAE Systems

BAE Systems is a leading systems integrator supporting militaries, governments, and U.S. intelligence community members across the globe. The company’s advanced technologies and services protect people and national security, and keep critical information and infrastructure secure across air, land, sea, space, and cyber domains.