Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems has secured a contract to continue providing support for the US Navy’s BQM-177A subsonic aerial target (SSAT).

Awarded by the US Naval Air Systems Command, the cost-plus-fixed-fee contract has an estimated ceiling value of $14.748m.

According to the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) contract notification, the work under the award majorly involves providing software engineering support services for the SSAT.

It will also include analysis, modification and implementation of the associated software changes for the BQM-177A SSAT.

The company will carry out the related work at its facility in Sacramento, California and Phoenix, Arizona.

The indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract is valid for a period of five years and is anticipated to conclude by July 2027.

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Kratos Unmanned Systems Division president Steve Fendley said: “This award provides the foundation to continue our work with the Navy, maturing and evolving the SSAT aircraft on pace with the threat environment.

“This enables us to collectively provide the training to stress and exercise our fleet prior to their deployments to increasingly challenging theatres of operation, ultimately strengthening our nation’s defence and helping protect the war fighter.

“Consistent with our corporate motto, we continue our trend to be ready for what’s next.”

The latest contract comes a few days after the US Navy declared full operational capability for the BQM-177A SSAT on 2 September.

Kratos’ BQM-177A has been designed to imitate the subsonic and highly dynamic anti-ship cruise missile threats.

The US Navy’s next-generation SSAT can provide high speed of up to 0.95 Mach, with sea-skimming altitude as low as 6.6ft.

The first BQM-177A SSAT was delivered to the US Navy in 2018, while the first test flight was conducted in 2021.