The U.S. Air Force, acting on behalf of the government of Taiwan, has awarded Poway-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. an undefinitized contract action for Taiwan MQ-9B SkyGuardian procurement. The value of the contract is not to exceed $217.6 million.
The deal provides for four MQ-9B unmanned air vehicles, two Certifiable Ground Control Stations, spares and support equipment. The MQ-9B is equipped with sensors including video cameras, giving it the ability to conduct surveillance and collect intelligence. Other uses include airborne early warning, electronic warfare and humanitarian assistance. The aircraft has “hard points” for mounting external payloads, if the client prefers. Similar aircraft from GA-ASI have carried air-to-ground missiles.
The SkyGuardian is guided by pilots on the ground. It has the ability to stay in the air for more than 40 hours.
Work will be performed in Poway, and is expected to be completed by May 5, 2025. The contract involves Foreign Military Sales to Taiwan and is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount of $107.4 million are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio awarded the contract, announced on May 1.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems is an affiliate of privately held General Atomics.
GA on Board Virginia-class Subs
A second General Atomics unit, General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced on May 4 that it has been awarded a contract from General Dynamics Electric Boat for manufacturing, production and delivery of Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs) for upcoming Virginia-class submarines.
Virginia-class submarines are attack submarines that can carry cruise missiles.
GA-EMS will prepare manufacturing and quality systems, and will build, test and ship two VPTs for use by Electric Boat and HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding in their construction of the submarines.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Our Manufacturing Center of Excellence in Tupelo, Mississippi offers world-class fabrication and precision machining industrial base capabilities, supported by an experienced program management team and manufacturing engineering and quality assurance experts that are critical for on-time production of large, complex submarine assemblies,” said Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “We are very proud to be working with Electric Boat, as we bring demonstrated expertise in manufacturing to tight tolerances, exacting specifications, and documented first-time-quality performance to deliver these critical payload tubes that allow the Virginia-class submarines to support critical national security missions.”
Navy Radio Deal Goes to L3Harris
The U.S. Navy awarded L3Harris Telemetry & RF Products (L3 T&RF) of San Diego an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with maximum potential value of $84.95 million for Small Form Factor Weapons Attritable Radio Multi-Mode (SWARMM) Family 1 (SF1) radio products and services. Fiscal 2023 research and development funds (Navy) in the amount of $1 million will be obligated at the time of the award. The deal was awarded via the federal government’s System for Award Management (SAM) website. The contract was not competitively procured as the government determined there is only one responsible source for the products. The ordering period for this contract is through May 2026. The Naval Information Warfare System Command in San Diego awarded the contract, announced on May 5.
One Stop Systems Receives Subcontract
Escondido-based One Stop Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: OSS) said on May 10 that it received an initial order from a new military prime contractor for 3U short-depth computer servers (SDS) for use by a U.S. Air Force anti-electronic warfare system. OSS has already begun shipments under an initial purchase order. This program — the company’s first with this prime contractor — is valued at approximately $3.5 million over the next three years. The prime contractor was not named.
OSS describes itself as a leader in AI transportable compute and storage solutions at the edge.
“We see this initial design win through a new prime contractor partner leading to other storage accelerator orders,” said CEO David Raun. “For instance, we believe similarly configured OSS SDSs could serve areas of the deployment that requires compute accelerators and data acquisition.”
The servers feature proprietary OSS Gen 4 PCI express NVMe controllers, OSS transportable hot-swap drive canisters and NVMe SSDs that support government encryption standards. The servers are expected to serve as a head storage node for data collection located at U.S. Air Force ground stations that house military aircraft. They will be capable of recording large volumes of simulation data and deliver it at high speeds with low latency to data scientists on the network.
The win follows the company’s recently announced sole source, five-year contract extension to provide the U.S. Navy ruggedized transportable NVMe storage arrays and related supplies. OSS is also currently working with multiple prime military contractors on other U.S. Air Force programs.