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STS completes 5th Generation Aerial Target Critical Design Review


Sierra Technical Services, Inc. (STS) is pleased to announce the completion on 20 June 2018 of the Critical Design Review (CDR) for the 5th Generation Aerial Target (5GAT). On 24 March 2017, STS was awarded the prime contract to complete the Design, Development, Fabrication and Testing of the 5GAT demonstrator.


STS completes 5th Generation Aerial Target Critical Design Review 001 A rendering of STS 5th Generation Aerial Target
(Credit: STS)


The 5GAT design is intended to meet specialized needs regarding "Threat Representative," "Low Observable" full scale aircraft adversaries the US Warfighter may encounter in an aerial combat situation. The 5GAT is a high-performance, unmanned, fighter-size aircraft that shall be used for Air-to-Air and Ground-To-Air weapons evaluation, pilot training, and ground forces training when translated into production. 5GAT incorporates two afterburning jet engines into a 95% carbon fiber airframe.

The 1st 5GAT demonstrator is planned as a 26-month to 1st Flight program with 1st Flight expected to take place during the spring of 2019. Successful completion of the CDR allows STS to begin the assembly of the 5GAT 1st Demonstrator structure. STS has already completed more than 90% of the wings internal structure and skins, as well as, 80% of the fuselage internal structure and skins. Flight Control surfaces and Tail Assemblies are progressing well. Assembly of the wings and fuselage will begin immediately.

During the CDR, Mr. Hayes (STS President) announced that the 5GAT Demonstrator Program is "On Schedule", "On Budget", and the aircraft is "Underweight" based on predictions. Mr. Hayes stated "it is unprecedented in today's Department of Defense (DoD) acquisitions of high-performance aircraft to be "on budget", "on schedule", and "underweight". "We are extremely proud of our team of engineering and manufacturing professionals as well as our 5GAT teammates to achieve this milestone."

The 5GAT contract award comes from the US Army Corp of Engineers Contracting Office (USACE Sacramento District) in Sacramento, CA and are managed by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (OSD/DOT&E). STS has been the Prime Contractor developing the 5GAT aircraft concept since 2006 and uses two major subcontractors: 5-D Systems from Round Rock, TX. and Fast and Optimal Engineering (FOE), of Valencia, CA.