BAE Systems lands $400M Air Force contract
Arlington company to develop air vehicle system for Skyborg program
The U.S. Air Force awarded Arlington-based defense contractor BAE Systems Inc. a $400 million contract to develop an air vehicle system for the Skyborg program, a team of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) that use artificial intelligence to adapt to battlefield conditions.
“The need to generate combat power faster than our adversaries is critical to address near-peer threats,” Ehtisham Siddiqui, BAE Systems vice president and general manager of controls and avionics solutions, said in a statement. “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.”
BAE Systems will design the UAVs using their autonomous systems, which include sensors and payloads that communicate within a shared network with manned aircraft. This will allow for faster updates and integration to respond to emerging threats, according to BAE Systems.
“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,” according to BAE Systems.
Work on the contract will be performed in Endicott, New York.
BAE Systems Inc. employs approximately 35,100 people across the U.S., U.K., Sweden and Israel. The company generated $11.4 billion in sales last year. BAE Systems Inc. is an independent U.S. subsidiary of England-based BAE Systems plc, one of Europe’s top defense contractors.