The US Department of Defence (DoD) is anticipated to roll-out the final request for proposal (RfP) for its unmanned carrier launched airborne surveillance and strike (UCLASS) programme within the next two weeks.
US Navy PEO U&W rear admiral Mat Winter was quoted by Shephard Media as saying that the final RfP would be launched shortly to four vendors in Lockheed Martin, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Boeing and Northrop Grumman.
Noting that the RfP would not be launched until the board decides ‘correct design requirements’, Winter said: "Discussions continue to evolve within the DoD to get the design requirements right, including continuous dialogue with congressional teammates to understand their concerns."
In September 2013, an RfP was initially planned to be released with the four vendors, who secured preliminary design review contracts for the air vehicle design in August the same year.
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Upon the announcement of the final RfP, vendors will be given 60 days to furnish their responding proposals prior to a final source selection.
"We will identify a single vendor to bring to the senior leadership for the downselect contract for the air segment of the UCLASS programme," Winter said.
"We envision a contract award for the air vehicle segment in the second to third quarter of FY15."
With the final decision anticipated to take about ten months, the programme office will not provide the final RfP until the accurate design requirements are achieved.