Leidos wins $27M contract for US Army Saturn Arch capability

Leidos has been awarded a US$27 million contract for Saturn Arch Quick Reaction Capability Aircraft, the US Department of Defense announced on August 27, 2018.

Leidos wins 27M contract for US Army Saturn Arch capability 001 A US Army Saturn Arch configured Dash-8 aircraft
(Credit: Special Operations Solutions)

"Work will be performed in Bridgewater, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 16, 2019," the Pentagon added.

As a result of the steady evolution from 2010 to today, Saturn Arch now serves as the capability in the sky for not only IED threats, but other hostile enemy action or intent. 

The Saturn Arch Program began in 2010 under the direction of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, with an effort to implement intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to a special aircraft fitted with state of the art sensor technology to identify and assist in removing IEDs from the battlefield in Afghanistan. 

In 2013, Saturn Arch was tranfserred to the US Army Intelligence and Security Command. 

In April 2015, the US Army ordered six new Dash-8 to serve as ISR platform for Saturn Arch under a $39.2 mn contract awarded to Dynamic Aviation Group. The Dynamic Aviation Group already provided the US Army with 30 ISR aircraft, including at least four Dash-8-300s in either Saturn Arch or Desert Owl configuration. 

Saturn Arch aircraft are all fitted with a range of ISR devices, including high-resolution electro-optical-infrared imagers, full-motion video, foliage-penetrating radar, synthetic aperture radar, digital mapping tools, and signals intelligence and communications intelligence capabilities.