> our title:

UK Awarded Unannounced £415M Order for Predator-B UAVs

> original title:

MoD Unveils New Armed Drone That Can Spy On Targets for Twice As Long (excerpt)

(Source: Telegraph.co.uk; posted May 01, 2016)

Britain will double its fleet of armed surveillance drones with a new upgraded generation of unmanned aircraft able to fly for nearly twice as long, laden with more bombs, missiles and sensors, the MoD has disclosed.

The 79ft wingspan, remotely piloted planes will be able to circle over and spy on targets for nearly two days, while sophisticated new flight computers mean they will be able to fly in bad weather and survive ice, lightning and bird strikes.

The new General Atomics Certifiable Predator B, which is expected to be named Protector when used by the RAF from the end of this decade, is likely to be at the forefront of spying and air strike campaigns against militant and terror groups such as Islamic State.

First details of the new aircraft have been disclosed as defence officials signed a £415m contract with the Pentagon to buy 20 of the new drones to replace the RAF’s 10 existing MQ-9 Reapers.

The 38ft long aircraft will also be certified to fly in European airspace, allowing them to be potentially used in Nato intelligence-gathering missions in eastern Europe, or even over the UK and its waters. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on The Telegraph website.


Justification of the Decision to Award the Contract Without the Prior Publication of A Contract Notice

(Source: UK Government Contract Finder; issued April 24, 2016)

UK Ministry of Defence, Combat Air, Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) Team

Contract summary
-- Industry: Defence and security
-- Location of contract: South West
-- Value of contract (£): £415,000,000
-- Published date: 24 April 2016
-- Closing date: 18 April 2016
-- Contract start date: 30 September 2016
-- Contract end date: 31 October 2023

The Unmanned Air Systems Team, part of the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), intends to acquire the PROTECTOR Unmanned Aerial System through a Government-Government Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Contract with the US Department of Defence (US DoD).

The MoD has conducted a thorough Assessment Phase (AP) which has concluded that the Certifiable Predator B (CPB) is the only system capable of achieving UK Military Type Certification (MTC) and delivering the PROTECTOR requirement within the required timescales. The only means of acquiring the CPB is through a contract with the US DoD.

The Defence and Security Public Contract Regulations 2011 do not apply to the proposed contract with the US DoD by virtue of Regulation 7(1)(h)(i).

About the buyer
-- Address:
DE&S Abbey Wood
Bristol, BS34 8JH

Awarded information
-- Value of contract (£): £415,000,000
-- Contract start date: 30 September 2016
-- Contract end date: 31 October 2023
-- This contract was awarded to 1 supplier.
-- Supplier's name: US Department of Defence
-- Supplier's address: Washington

Click here for the full item, on UK Government Contract Finder website.