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News Release


Release No: 566-94
October 06, 1994


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, N.Y.

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, N.J.

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 fixed-price agreements.

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 vehicles.

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 minimum time.

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."

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