QinetiQ Selects Kratos Firejet Aerial Target Drone

By Mike Ball / 16 Jul 2018
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Kratos Firejet aerial drone target

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. has announced that it has received a 10-year sole source, single award framework contract from QinetiQ UK for Kratos’ MQM-178 Firejet aerial targets, spares, ground support equipment, technical services, and training. It is currently anticipated that multiple Firejet Targets will be utilized annually under this contract agreement. Kratos is a provider of high performance, jet powered unmanned aerial drone systems for tactical and target threat representation purposes. Work under this contract award will be performed at secure Kratos facilities, QinetiQ and customer locations.

QinetiQ, which operates the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) Hebrides Range as part of the Long Term Partnering Agreement (LTPA), utilized multiple Kratos’ Firejets and Kratos’ Terrier Oriole ballistic missile targets as part of the Formidable Shield 2017 exercise. Formidable Shield brought together eight NATO countries in the Outer Hebrides to test integrated air and missile defence capabilities through a series of live missile firings and demonstrations.

Kratos’ Firejet delivers fighter-like performance and versatility, representing the most lethal threats of the United States and its allies’ potential adversaries. The Firejet provides the opportunity for customers to test multiple weapon systems with a single flexible high performance unmanned aerial target drone system. Firejet supports both surface-to-air and air-to-air engagements with a combination of internal and external mission kits including tow targets, proximity scoring, passive & active RF augmentation, and infrared (IR) augmentation. The Firejet system is capable of land or shipboard launch with a pneumatic launcher; significantly reducing operating costs versus conventional aerial targets by eliminating the need for Rocket-Assisted Take-Off (RATO) equipment, facilities, and the associated logistics.

Steve Fendley, Unmanned Systems Division President of Kratos, said, “We’re thrilled about this long-term framework contract to support our customer and partner QinetiQ. The Kratos-QinetiQ team and 10-year Firejet framework contract positions us to expand further across the global market, capitalizing on the high performance and low cost of Firejet, with the worldwide operational capability that QinetiQ is known for. We enjoy a highly cooperative relationship with QinetiQ in configuring and fielding the system specifically for operation in the UK and look forward to supporting the worldwide QinetiQ business.”

Eric DeMarco, CEO of Kratos, said, “QinetiQ is a key strategic partner of Kratos across the corporation, with this Firejet framework contractual arrangement being the most recent of what we believe will be numerous jointly beneficial opportunities for our organizations. This long term framework contract award further positions Kratos’ high performance unmanned aerial target drone business for sustained long term future organic revenue, profit and cash flow growth.”

Steve Wadey, CEO of QinetiQ, said, “Following the successful use of Firejet in Formidable Shield 2017, QinetiQ recognized the value to our customers of being able to include it in future UK exercises and trials. This framework contract enables this and supports a broader strategic partnership that exists between QinetiQ and Kratos to collaborate in other areas of mutual benefit.”

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact