Leidos, Paramount Group USA and Vertex Aerospace have partnered for the US Special Operations Command’s (USSOCOM) Armed Overwatch programme.

The team led by Leidos will pursue the programme with Bronco II, a new purpose-built, multi-mission aircraft.

The aircraft is a Leidos offering developed to meet the requirements of the US SOCOM.

Paramount Group USA CEO Steve Griessel said: “Our collaboration with Vertex and Leidos will present best of capabilities for what will undoubtedly be a critical programme to enable US Air Force Special Operations Command to deal effectively with the challenges and rigors of modern-day asymmetrical warfare.

“The Bronco II was designed specifically for asymmetrical warfare and will operate at a fraction of the procurement and lifecycle costs of an aircraft with similar mission applications and capabilities.”

Leidos will serve as the prime contractor for the programme if selected, while Paramount and Vertex as primary partners.

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Production work on the affordable, and sustainable multi-mission aircraft, Bronco II, will be carried out in Crestview, US.

The USSOCOM has invited the industry to demonstrate a prototype of Armed Overwatch.

Through an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract, the SOCOM plans to procure a total of 75 aircraft along with related support.

The programme seeks to provide manned aircraft systems that will be capable of meeting Close Air Support (CAS), Precision Strike, and SOF Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) needs.

Leidos Defense Group president Gerry Fasano said: “The Bronco II demonstrates our commitment to providing the best-of-breed in technology, as well as our agility in meeting the needs of our country’s national security missions.

“This offering will leverage each company’s expertise to deliver cost-effective innovations for the warfighter.”