AeroVironment’s Jump 20 medium uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) has been selected for the US Army’s Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (FTUAS) Programme Increment (Inc) 2.

The company announced its selection via a media release on 1 March.

Following its selection, AeroVironment will compete with four other vendors, including Northrop Grumman Systems, Sierra Nevada, Textron Systems, and Griffon Aerospace, for the programme.

The multi-phased FTUAS programme will allow the army to select the best possible solution for the Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs). The new platform will replace the ageing fleet of RQ-7B Shadow tactical UAS.

Prior to the Inc 2 award, AeroVironment demonstrated the performance of its Jump 20 during the Inc 0 and 1 contract, being the only company to receive all the increments.

Awarded in August last year, the Inc 1 stage required the company to develop a prototype system for BCT.

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AeroVironment medium UAS vice-president and product line general manager Gorik Hossepian said: “We will continue to work closely with US Army to ensure we meet their performance needs both today for an all-environment aircraft system and in future as requirements evolve to meet changing battlefield demands.”

According to the US Army, the value of this ‘Rapid Prototyping Other Transaction Agreements’ for Inc 2 ranges from $1m to $25m, depending on the progress made by the individual Project Agreement Holder (PAH).

Inc 2 includes five different development stages, along with one base and four additional option periods until 2025.

The companies will focus on the implementation of the Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA), following which the system will undergo design tests under the Option-2 period and flight tests/verifications under Option-3.

Under Option-4, PAHs will deliver four each of UAS, mission system/payload packages, ground and OTM controllers, maintenance tools, and other support equipment for final qualification and operational assessment.