The US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has awarded Boeing and a team of bio-defence companies an $8.2 million contract to modify the ScanEagle unmanned air vehicle (UAV) to look for biological warfare agents.
The DTRA gave Boeing’s Phantom Works the two-year, Phase 1 contract for the Biological Combat Assessment System (BCAS) Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) programme.
The DTRA and the Boeing-led team will work with the US Pacific Command and the US Navy Third Fleet to design and develop a remote sensor system that can assess battle damage and collateral effects, using innovative operational capabilities to locate, track, collect and detect simulated biological warfare agents in a designated target area.
The team will integrate the sensor system into the Boeing-Insitu ScanEagle UAV and then will demonstrate the system’s capabilities in flight tests. Successful flight tests will lead to a possible Phase 2 follow-on contract and limited production options with the DTRA worth $15 million.
Boeing is drawing on scientists and engineers from across the company and industry to execute the DTRA BCAS programme. Industry team members include the Midwest Research Institute, Applied Research Associates and Steris. From within Boeing, team members come from Boeing Commercial Airplanes, the Advanced Systems group of Integrated Defense Systems, and the Phantom Works organisations of Engineering and Information Technology and Advanced Homeland Security.