The Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), acting as
agent for the Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office, today selected five
company teams for the first phase of the Tier II Plus High-Altitude Endurance
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle program.
Company teams selected are:
LORAL Systems Co., San Jose, Calif., teamed with: Frontier Systems Inc., Lake
Forrest, Calif.; LORAL Defense Systems, Litchfield Park, Ariz.; LORAL Fairchild
Systems, Syosset, N.Y.
Northrop Grumman Aerospace Corp., Melbourne, Fla., teamed with: Westinghouse
Electric Corp., Baltimore, Md.; AeroVironment Inc., Los Angeles, Calif.; Scaled
Composites Inc., Mojave, Calif.; PAR Government Systems Corp., New Hartford,
Orbital Sciences Corp., Dulles, Va., teamed with: Westinghouse Electric Corp.
Electronic Systems Group, Baltimore, Md.; Scaled Composites, Mojave, Calif.;
Fairchild Space and Defense Corp., Germantown, Md.
Raytheon Co. Missile Systems Division, Bedford, Mass., teamed with: Lockheed
Advanced Development Co., Palmdale, Calif.; Task Research Limited, Gene Autry,
Okla.; Allied Signal Aerospace Guidance and Control Systems Group, Teterboro,
Teledyne-Ryan Aeronautical, San Diego, Calif., teamed with: E-Systems Melpar
Division, Falls Church, Va.; E-Systems Garland Division, Dallas, Texas; GDE
Systems, San Diego, Calif.; Adroit Systems, Alexandria, Va.
Today's selections are for phase one, a six-month, initial design effort.
Subject to negotiation, contractor teams will each receive $4 million
In phase two, ARPA plans to select up to two of today's teams to continue into
an advanced development effort. After a design review, the program will select
one of the teams to develop, build and test two advanced development air
vehicles and a ground station. $230 million
is planned for this phase two effort. This includes taking two teams up to the
design review, six months of flight test, the development of ground station and
satellite communications terminals, and the development of the two air
Following successful flights test, a phase three effort will build up to eight
prototype air vehicles and two ground stations, and will also include a
24-month operational demonstration.
The Tier II Plus High Altitude Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle program will
demonstrate an affordable reconnaissance capability for the joint force
commander that will provide high-quality imagery products in exploitable form.
The system will be capable of sustained, high-altitude surveillance and
reconnaissance under all weather conditions, at ranges of up to 3,000 nautical
miles. The system will be equipped with radar and electro-optical and infrared
sensors, and will transmit imagery from the aircraft to ground stations
worldwide. This new, near real-time intelligence and targeting information is
expected to significantly enhance battlefield situation awareness and the
warfighting capability of the joint force commander.
The Tier II Plus program departs from the standard approach to acquisition by
using ARPA's "other agreement authority." This permits ARPA to streamline
development by aggressively pursuing integrated product development and
maximizing the use of commercial management and acquisition practices. The
program is being managed by an ARPA-led, joint ARPA/Air Force/Navy project
office which will form a small, high-performance, integrated
government-contractor team to develop, field and test an affordable system in
Another innovation is the use of the design-to-price approach. Contractor
teams plan to design, and eventually develop and build a full-up, airborne
system for $10 million per air vehicle. ARPA is giving the contractors the
flexibility to make design trade-offs to meet the price goal for the program.
Each contractor team will conduct separate efforts, so ARPA will be able to
choose the two best designs for development.
Tier II Plus program manager John Entzminger said, "We received 14 good
proposals. We're happy to see that industry is willing to take on the very
important challenge of design-to-price in this era of declining budgets. I'm
encouraged by the management techniques our contractors plan to use under
ARPA's new agreement authority. We hope to demonstrate that these techniques
will be useful in other major programs."
Entzminger also noted, "I'm impressed by the outstanding teamwork that the Air
Force and Navy have shown in providing top-notch people, active leadership and
thoughtful advice and guidance for this program. The early, active involvement
of the Services' requirements, operational and acquisition leadership ensures
that we will achieve our objective of providing an affordable system that meets
our customers' expectations."