Military officials announced Monday plans to kill off the Medium-Range Maritime Unmanned Aerial System program, saving about $1.5 billion over the next five years. The cuts are part of a plan by the Navy and Marine Corps to save $13 Billion by 2018. Also facing the chop 5000 troops, 3000 sailors and 2500 civilian contractors.
Bad news for the AVX/BAE cooperation announced last December.
The two companies submitted their proposal in October 2011 in response to a Navy request for concepts for an unmanned, vertical-takeoff-and-landing surveillance aircraft that could operate from ships and cover long distances and stay in the air for long periods.
BAE, formerly British Aerospace, has a separate U.S. subsidiary and is a major contractor for the Defense Department. BAE’s aircraft components manufacturing division in Samlesbury, England, builds the rear fuselage and tail sections of the F-35 joint strike fighter, and its electronics systems division in New Hampshire supplies F-35 components.
At this point, the AVX-BAE proposal calls for designing and developing an all-new helicopter using the Fort Worth company’s concept of combining a compound coaxial rotor system and ducted fans to provide helicopterlike vertical flight and hover capabilities and obtain higher speeds.
The Medium Range Maritime Unmanned Aerial System (MRMUAS) was to be a Multi-Intelligence (MultiINT), reconfigurable platform capable of operating from all air-capable ships.