US-based company Sierra Technical Services (STS) has been selected to build a second demonstrator of the 5th Generation Aerial Target (5GAT) aircraft.
The follow-on contract option was awarded by the US Army Corp of Engineers Contracting Office (USACE), Sacramento, US.
The initial contract for design, development, fabrication and testing of the 5GAT demonstrator was procured by the company on 24 March 2017.
Both contracts are managed by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Director of Operational Test and Evaluation.
As a prime contractor for 5GAT aircraft since 2006, STS has been working with two major subcontractors, Fast and Optimal Engineering (FOE) and 5-D Systems.
The high-performance, unmanned fighter-size 5GAT aircraft will be used for air-to-air and ground-to-air weapon evaluation, pilot and ground forces training.
There are two afterburning jet engines are fitted within the aircraft’s 95% carbon fibre airframe.
US troops will be able to use the aircraft to counter ‘Threat Representative’, ‘Low Observable’ full-scale aircraft adversaries in a combat situation.
The first 5GAT aircraft demonstrator is scheduled to fly by mid-2019. STS completed the critical design review (CDR) for the 5GAT demonstrator in June.
STS noted that the second demonstrator ‘is a 21-month to first flight programme’.
Design, manufacturing and subsystems integration work for both aircraft will be carried out at the company’s facility in Tehachapi, California, US.