The U.S. Navy is preparing to release a draft request for proposals for a carrier-launched surveillance and strike drone by the end of this year, Flight Global reports.
Contenders for the new aircraft include Boeing, General Atomics, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman (click here to read more on what these contractors could offer for the program).
Dave Majumdar writes the Navy plans to use the UCLASS drone for ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) and strike operations.
Citing budget documents, Majumdar writes that the Navy wants to have the drone in limited operational service by 2020.
A small squadron of nearly six UCLASS drones would be ready for training with a carrier air wing by 2020, however the drones would not necessarily deploy with the ship, according to the report.