Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Unmanned Systems Division has received a contract to deliver 35 additional Air Force Subscale Aerial Target (AFSAT) production target aircraft to the US Air Force (USAF).

The $31.8m award pertains to the Lot 15 option on a previously awarded AFSAT Lots 14-16 contract.

Kratos will conduct the work in Sacramento, California, US, with completion scheduled for 31 May 2021.

Kratos unmanned systems division president Steve Fendley said: “This milestone represents an exciting achievement for the company as the BQM-167A provided the original business foundation for our now, many systems across our unmanned jet target and tactical portfolio.

“Kratos is proud to provide the USAF the highest performance unmanned aerial target drones in the world for their mission-critical requirements.

“Our USAF customer is one of our most demanding, and we are honoured to be the provider of these mission-critical systems. We look forward to continuing to evolve the BQM-167A for the ever-evolving threats and supporting the USAF well into the future.”

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The company’s unmanned systems division is made of Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems (KUAS) and Micro Systems Inc (MSI).

While KUAS will head the contract delivery and provide aerial target drones and technical support, MSI will supply the majority of the avionics to be integrated on the target drone.

“The BQM-167A provided the original business foundation for our now, many systems across our unmanned jet target and tactical portfolio.”

The systems will include critical command / control and flight computer systems.

Kratos supplies target drone systems to the US and allied militaries. These drone systems serve as high-fidelity enemy threat surrogates and can be used to simulate certain threat aircraft and missiles.

They are deployed to support weapons testing, development, and training requirements.

Last month, the company reached a partnership deal with AeroVironment to develop and demonstrate multi-domain unmanned aerial system (UAS) solutions for near-peer, denied combat environments.