The US Navy has issued a request for proposal (RFP) for a small unmanned air system (UAS) until the small tactical unmanned aerial system (STUAS) / tier II enters service in 2013.

Under the $870m RFP, the awardee will provide deployed, short-range intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) services to the navy, marines and air force for a year.

The UAS, with a heavy fuel engine, will be required to provide ten hours of uninterrupted full motion video and operate off an Arleigh Burke Class destroyer.

The contract, when finalised, will replace the sole-source, fee-for-service leasing deal, awarded to Boeing / Insitu in 2004, according to Flight Global.

The awardee will also be responsible for maintaining and operating the UAS in operational conditions.