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Boeing, DARPA Extend Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle Contrac

Boeing, DARPA Extend Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle Contract

Saint-Louis, Missouri -- (Boeing) August 08, 2002 -- Boeing [NYSE:BA] and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, have agreed to terms of a contract extension for the Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle, or UCAV, initiating work on advanced versions of the X-45 UCAV demonstrator aircraft.

An artist's concept of U.S. Air Force Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles dropping Joint Direct Attack Munition, or JDAM, precision weapons. Boeing is developing the UCAV and produces the JDAM.

Boeing image

That work will put the program on track to provide the U.S. Air Force with initial operational capability UCAVs by 2008. UCAV is the first unmanned system designed from inception for combat.

"In three years, Boeing, DARPA and the Air Force matured UCAV from a concept to a system in flight testing," said Boeing UCAV Program Manager Darryl Davis. "We now begin work that will lead to delivering a combat-capable system within six years. We will prove that warfighters can expect to receive combat capabilities sooner rather than later."

The $460 million contract extension funds several activities: a fourth block of X-45A software development and flight testing; two new demonstrator aircraft which are designated X-45B; two shipping/storage containers; an updated mission-control station and Block 5 software and flight test.

The X-45B will be larger and more capable than the X-45A demonstrator aircraft that's currently in flight-testing. The first X-45B is to be completed in 2004 and begin flight-testing later that year. The second will be delivered in 2005.

UCAV is pioneering spiral development; an acquisition process to quickly provide warfighters with essential capabilities and keep pace with developments in technology and warfighter needs by fielding additional capability in subsequent spirals.

Boeing Unmanned Systems and Phantom Works, the company's advanced research and development unit, are developing UCAV.

Unmanned Systems is part of the Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, or IDS, organization. IDS is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $23 billion business. It provides systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in launch services.

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).

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