3 Feb 2015 By: Stephen Trimble - FG
A decade-long pursuit of an unmanned, carrier-launched surveillance and strike aircraft (UCLASS) must wait three more years. The Obama Administration’s fiscal 2016 budget request postpones the in-service milestone for the UCLASS aircraft by three years to FY2023. The programme has been held up since top Pentagon officials last September rolled it into a wider study of intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting systems. A request for proposals is now scheduled for release in the second quarter of FY2016, with contract award set for the second quarter of FY2017. The first flight milestone for the selected aircraft is planned for the third quarter of FY2020, followed by the initial operational capability milestone three years later, according to Navy budget documents released on 3 February.
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