The U.S. Navy has awarded Kratos Defense & Security Solutions a $34.6 million contract modification for the low-rate initial production of subsonic aerial target drone systems.
Kratos said Wednesday the fiscal 2017 LRIP is the first annual production order for the BQM-177A drone system.
The company also secured a $2.5 million contractor logistics support contract and is slated to receive separate contracts for peculiar support equipment, initial systems spares, external payload systems and flight consumables.
Kratos estimates the second LRIP order will be 25 percent higher than the fiscal 2017 order.
BQM-177A will replace the Navy’s current BQM-74E Chukar targets and will work to replicate subsonic anti-ship cruise missile threats during fleet training and weapon system test and evaluation.
The drone system is based on Kratos’ BQM-167X aircraft, a variant of the BQM-167A Skeeter aerial target platform the company produces for the U.S. Air Force.
BQM-177A is designed to also carry various internal and wing tip-mounted payloads such as electronic counter measures, active and passive radar augmentation, infrared, identification friend-or-foe, threat emitter simulators and internal chaff and flare dispensing.