Next-Gen UAV Sought

The Air Force says it is poised to issue a solicitation to industry soon for information on concepts for a next-generation unmanned aerial system that would be more capable than the current MQ-1 Predators and MQ-9 Reapers for finding and attacking fleeting targets. In a pre-solicitation notice issued in May, USAF said it is interested in proven and emerging technologies that could be at a level of maturity in 2010 to make the fielding of the new UAS possible in 2015. Among the desired attributes are: enhanced survivability and maneuverability, high subsonic dash speeds, twice the payload capacity compared to the Reaper, and greater automation for reduced manpower demands.