Kratos has delivered the 100th production BQM-177A Subsonic Aerial Target (SSAT) system to the US Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR).

The company also nears the completion of its third and final Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract by achieving the delivery milestone.

Aerial Targets Program (PMA-208) program manager captain Molly Boron said: “The government-industry team of PMA-208 and Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems (KUAS) has worked hard to deliver this capable target on time and on budget. 2020 has been a successful year despite Covid-19 challenges.

“We are completing LRIP III deliveries, have awarded the $29.2m Full Rate Production (FRP) Lot 1 contract on 29 September for 35 more BQM-177A SSATs, and are currently activating the operational site at Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) in Kauai, Hawaii.

“The combined PMA-208 and KUAS team is positioned to successfully achieve Full Operational Capability this fiscal year. We are delivering targets and support equipment to Atlantic Target & Marine Operations at Dam Neck, Virginia in anticipation of their transition to the BQM-177A this winter.”

The BQM-177A is designed to provide highly-dynamic, sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missile threat emulation. The SSAT is also capable of providing threat emulation for air-to-air engagements.

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The aircraft is capable of travelling at speeds of more than 0.95 Mach and a sea-skimming altitude as low as 6.6ft.

It can be used for different missions such as proximity scoring, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF), passive and active RF augmentation, electronic counter-measures, infrared (IR) augmentation (plume pods), chaff and flare dispensers among others.

Kratos Unmanned Systems Division president Steve Fendley said: “The delivery of this 100th aircraft represents the very hard work of many dedicated navy and KUAS engineering, production, program, logistics, financial, and supply chain professionals.

“We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our navy customers as we activate additional sites and operationalise this capability around the world.”