Posted by Courtney Howard
KIRKLAND, Wash., 2 March 2010. A 47-page research note from G2 Solutions, "RQ-7 and Army Tactical UAS: Requirements, Scenarios and Outlook," outlines three U.S. Army acquisition scenarios: two for the RQ-7 unmanned aerial system (UAS) and another for an evolving rotary-wing unmanned system.
"We initiated research based upon multiple, independent inquiries, with knowledge that RQ-7 remains in a delivery phase," says G2 Solutions research director Ron Stearns. "During our research Army announced the cancellation of the Future Combat Systems Class IV UAS, with many in industry wondering how funds would be reallocated, which missions would be prioritized and how these systems would work together."
G2 Solutions staff finds within this forecast that Army will require a tactical UAV with payload, range, and endurance greater than what RQ-7 or system enhancements will be able to provide.
The RQ-7 scenarios depict a partial recapitalization and a full-system recompete, although both assume a level of standardization and backfit/reuse, says a representative. The rotary-wing UAS assumes a larger platform optimized for missions such as resupply, communications, ISR, and others.
Each forecast includes revenues flowing to: UAVs, ground control, sensors and components/support.
"Depending upon the forecast emphasis, these program elements will vary greatly," Stearns says. "Look for a high Technical Readiness Level (TRL) platform to be fielded quickly, in an effort to manage risk perceptions and move capability quickly to theater."
The forecast provides visibility from 2013 to 2025, with nearly half of acquisition revenues in the 2018-2021 timeframe.
The report also draws upon U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) publications, ranging from Unmanned System Roadmaps to the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) to plot organizational shifts over time. AAI Corporation, The Boeing Company, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, L-3 Communications, BAE Systems and a host of other companies are expected to compete.
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