Saturday, December 4, 2010
Boeing to Provide A160T Hummingbird Unmanned Aircraft for US Marine Corps
03 December 2010 -- ST. LOUIS -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] today announced that U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has awarded the company a $29.9 million contract for Cargo Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Services to support the U.S. Marine Corps. Boeing will provide two A160T Hummingbird unmanned vehicles, three ground control stations, spares, training and support.
The A160T aircraft designated for the contract are near completion on the Boeing production line that started up in March at the company's Mesa, Ariz., facility.
This government-owned, contractor-operated contract is the first for Hummingbirds from the company-funded production line. It calls for a period of predeployment operations at a military facility in the continental United States, followed by options for a six-month deployment to support Operation Enduring Freedom.
"We look forward to working with NAVAIR and the Marines to provide this important capability to warfighters on the front lines," said Vic Sweberg, Unmanned Airborne Systems director for Boeing. "The A160T has proven its ability to autonomously deliver cargo to forward operating bases in austere conditions in a demonstration setting, and we are confident in its ability to do the same in battlefield conditions."
This past March, under contract from the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, Boeing demonstrated the A160T's ability to deliver at least 2,500 pounds of cargo from one simulated forward-operating base to another base 75 nautical miles away in less than the required six hours. The simulated mission delivered 1,250-pound sling loads over two 150-nautical-mile round trips, with the A160T operating autonomously on a preprogrammed mission.