US Army awards contract to Griffon Aerospace for aerial target systems

Griffon Aerospace Inc., Madison, Alabama, was awarded a $49,957,259 order-dependent contract to procure MQM-170 "Outlaw" Remotely Piloted Vehicle Targets, MQM-171 "Broadsword" Unmanned Aerial Systems - Targets, depot level repair and maintenance, storage of government furnished equipment, base operations services, field operations services, qualification training execution, and inventory and transfer support for targets management office and other Department of Defense customers.

US Army awards contract to Griffon Aerospace for aerial target systems 01 MQM-170A Outlaw (Picture source: Gary Tuttle)

The Griffon Aerospace MQM-170 Outlaw is an aerial target system (UAV). It can serve as a target drone, surrogate training platform, or in a surrogate aerial reconnaissance and forward observation role. The aircraft has been in use since 2004. The system consists of an air vehicle and a ground control station (GCS), including an optional satellite link communication suite. The Outlaw may be launched pneumatically or by runway takeoff, when equipped with landing gear.

US Army awards contract to Griffon Aerospace for aerial target systems 02 MQM-171 Broadsword (Picture source: Griffon Aerospace)

The Broadsword UAS is a much larger derivative of the MQM-170A Outlaw and is currently available for US military operations as the MQM-171A. The Broadsword is a 400-500 lbs. gross weight aircraft in contrast to the Outlaw G1, which is a 120 lbs. gross vehicle. It was developed as a research and test vehicle to evaluate new sensors, payloads, propulsion systems and other UAV components. Broadsword is a large capable aircraft ideal for emerging sensor or payload development missions.

The Broadsword is very similar in shape and general layout to the Outlaw G1. Like the G1, it is primarily launched from a larger pneumatic launcher and then recovered by skid landing. Also like its little brother G1, the Broadsword can be equipped with optional landing gear for sensitive payloads. The Broadsword is also used as a test bed for new or upgraded high power propulsion systems.

The increased size of the Broadsword allows customers to carry large, heavy payloads that would not have been achievable with the Outlaw G1.

Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Feb. 23, 2022. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Orlando, Florida, is the contracting activity.