The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded a contract to United Technologies subsidiary UTC Aerospace Systems for the delivery of the dual-band DB-110 airborne reconnaissance system.
With an initial ceiling of $22.9m, the new indefinite-delivery / indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract will support the procurement requests for the DB-110 system from a number of countries through the foreign military sales (FMS) programme.
The current deal will help address the increasing requirement for advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities among the US allies across the globe.
The 110in focal length airborne reconnaissance system generates high-resolution imagery during day and night from nadir to a stand-off range of more than 80nm.
The system is also capable of collecting more than 10,000m² of high-resolution imagery every hour.
It is operational on the F-16 and F-15 jets, in addition to special mission aircraft such as the Bombardier Global Express and maritime patrol aircraft, the P-3.
UTC Aerospace Systems International Airborne Programmes director Mike Don said: “The DB-110 is a transformative system, enabling aircraft like the F-16 and F-15 to perform high-end ISR missions that previously were conducted by dedicated strategic platforms.
“With the DB-110, an F-16 can be flexibly deployed to conduct peacetime cross-border surveillance from international airspace, or during times of conflict, quickly transit through contested airspace that may be inaccessible by UAVs to conduct time-sensitive tactical-reconnaissance missions.”
The reconnaissance systems are currently in service with 14 countries and deployed on a wide range of platforms.
The USAF contract also includes procurement of several ground exploitation stations developed by the company to enable the ingest, exploitation, archival, and dissemination of intelligence products from the DB-110, as well as the full motion video (FMV) gimbals and non-traditional ISR (NTISR) targeting pods.
The company successfully conducted an operational assessment of the DB-110 system on-board General Atomics’ MQ-9 Reaper aircraft last year, demonstrating its capability in carrying out domestic operations missions such as defence support for civil authorities during natural disasters.