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The US Navy has announced its intention to fund four companies to design new unmanned air vehicles as part of its unmanned carrier-launched airborne surveillance and strike (UCLASS) programme.
Boeing, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman “have credible, existing, comprehensive UCLASS design solutions, and associated production capabilities and facilities” to design UAVs through the preliminary design review phase, the navy says.
The presolicitation, announced on 26 March, is the first step towards securing funding for the carrier-based strike and surveillance aircraft. A full solicitation is likely to go out “in the summer timeframe,” says the navy.