Exelis has been awarded a $20.6 million contract by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. of Poway, Calif., to produce the BRU-71/A ejector rack for the Predator® B/MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft.
Under the contract, Exelis will produce more than 500 BRU-71/A units for deployment on U.S. Air Force MQ-9s. The BRU-71/A is a pneumatic carriage and release system employing compressed air instead of electro-explosive charges to deploy payloads. This technology reduces overall system maintenance and lifecycle costs.
“The BRU-71/A delivers an advanced, high-performance airborne carriage and release capability,” said Pete Martin, director of defense systems for the Exelis electronic attack and release systems business area. “It is also one-third the weight of existing ejector racks in its class, a critical factor in the performance and endurance of unmanned platforms.”
Adaptable to a number of aircraft, the lightweight BRU-71/A offers significant benefits compared to previous generation racks. Enhancements include ease of loading via independent, self-latching hooks; elimination of pyrotechnic impulse cartridges and the resultant cleaning and maintenance actions; and a high-reliability pneumatic in-flight lock.
This award is the second BRU-71/A follow-on production contract for Exelis. The first, for 208 units, was received in February 2011. Deliveries of the latest batch will begin in November 2013 and will be completed in June 2015. Contract work will be performed at the Exelis Electronic Systems facility in Amityville, N.Y.