Photo courtesy of U.S. Army
The U.S. Army Gray Eagle is similar but not identical to unmanned aircraft built for the U.S. Air Force. Since the Army prefers a common fuel on the battlefield, these aircraft run on ‘heavy fuel.’ General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. builds the aircraft in Poway.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Army The U.S. Army Gray Eagle is similar but not identical to unmanned aircraft built for the U.S. Air Force. Since the Army prefers a common fuel on the battlefield, these aircraft run on ‘heavy fuel.’ General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. builds the aircraft in Poway.

The U.S. Army awarded General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. a $103.2 million contract for the production of Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft systems, satellite airborne data terminals and government furnished equipment maintenance. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Poway with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2023. The order uses fiscal 2021 aircraft procurement funds. The U.S. Army Contracting Command of Redstone Arsenal, Alabama awarded the contract, announced on Nov. 18.

Separately, the U.S. Air Force awarded GA-ASI a $31.7 million contract on behalf of the government of Belgium. This contract provides for one MQ-9B SkyGuardian simulator, training, spares and support equipment. Like the Gray Eagle, the SkyGuardian is a version of GA-ASI’s original Predator aircraft. Work will be performed in Poway and is expected to be completed by March 31, 2024. The contract is the result of a sole-source acquisition. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio awarded the contract, announced on Nov. 18.


NASSCO to Produce Spares for Oiler Ships


The U.S. Navy awarded General Dynamics NASSCO a $10.8 million modification to a previously awarded contract to procure shore-based spares for the USNS John Lewis T-AO class oiler ship program. Work will be performed in San Diego and is expected to be completed by November 2024. Fiscal 2021 shipbuilding and conversion funds will be obligated at time of award. The Supervisor of Shipbuilding Bath, Detachment San Diego awarded the contract on Nov. 16. The deal was announced the following day.

 
MemComputing Gets 2 Federal SBIRs


MemComputing Inc. announced on Nov. 9 that it received two Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts in association with U.S. Space Force and U.S. Air Force objectives. Financial terms of the deals were not released. MemComputing, based in Mira Mesa, develops disruptive high-performance computing technology.

 
Current space robotic technologies perform tasks like berthing and deploying large space structures, but struggle to execute tasks such as capturing a piece of debris tumbling through space. Space debris puts satellites and other valuable U.S. space assets at risk, as well as national security. MemComputing will explore this problem with the Air Force Research Lab in collaboration with the Space Force to enhance its autonomous Rendezvous and Proximity Operations. MemComputing will deploy a MemCPU-based technology solution to compute the optimal motion planning for a satellite with a robotic arm to capture a tumbling object in space, while also minimizing the energy required. At the end of Phase I, MemComputing will submit the technical details and project plans to build a prototype as part of a Phase II SBIR.


The 361st Air Combat Command Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance Group maintains a state-of-the-art system for advanced signal processing. For this SBIR, MemComputing will detail the plans for a MemCPU-based Neural Network designed to provide faster, more accurate training and a real-time Neural Network to further enhance signals intelligence capabilities for the Air Force Special Operations Command. At the end of this Phase I, as in the other, MemComputing will submit the technical details and project plans to build a prototype as part of a Phase II SBIR.