The U.S government’s request for proposal (RFP) for the Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UClass) program is now indefinitely delayed, local media reported Friday.
Navy officials had hoped to release a final RFP for the UCLASS this month, after a meeting of Pentagon officials on Sept. 10.
In a recent statement made by the Naval Air Systems Command (Navair) on September 10, it said that UClass engineering team had installed control station software at a laboratory at Patuxent Rivel Naval air station.
“This iteration forms the baseline for all future UClass control software. These early lab tests will help inform us as we move forward with development and eventually test with the air vehicle,” Cmdr. Wade Harris, the program’s control system and connectivity lead was quoted as saying by AINonline.
The U.S. Navy concerned about the cost of a new carrier-based unmanned spy plane has delayed the planned kickoff of the bid. UClass is expected to cost over $1 billion over the next two years.
The Pentagon put off the releasing of the document and will decide after reviewing its budget process.
“Defense officials will be including UClass in its ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) portfolio review to be conducted in conjunction with the normal budget review process this fall. Determination regarding the release of the UClass RFP will be made based on the results of this review,” USNI reported.
Bids are expected from Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and General Atomics for the UClass program.