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Monday, October 26, 2015

US Military Awards SNC Next-Phase Contract for Degraded Visual Environment Pilotage System

Juliet Van Wagenen

[Avionics Today 10-26-2015] The US military has awarded Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) a task order for the next phase of development for its Degraded Visual Environment Pilotage System (DVEPS). SNC’s DVE Pilotage System will allow pilots to safely operate in degraded visual environments such as brownout, smoke, sand, snow, rain and fog conditions through the use of a multi-sensor, see-through imaging system that provides real-time, high-resolution fused imagery of the terrain and obstacles. This multi-aircraft, game-changing technology will increase aircrew situational awareness of obstacles throughout all phases of flight including people, power lines, ditches, mountains, rocks and other obstacles, reducing loss of life and equipment.

The Indefinite-Delivery/Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) contract with the United States Special Operations Command Technology Applications Contracting Office was initially awarded in 2013 to increase the safety of military aircrews worldwide. The U.S. selected SNC for the third phase task order following a successful airborne test of its DVEPS program at the Yuma Proving Grounds in Arizona in June, which demonstrated SNC’s ability to fuse multi-sensor data into real-time, high-fidelity imagery during operations in DVE conditions. The final contract phase includes integrated system development and demonstration, Low-Rate Production (LRP) and qualification testing.

SNC will begin next phase development in fiscal year 2016 with developmental flight testing, leading to a Milestone-C decision followed by Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) to support qualification and operational testing.

“We look forward to finalizing this phase of the contract, leading to a full-rate production decision in fiscal year 2017/2018,” said Greg Cox, corporate vice president for SNC’s Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS)/Air Traffic Management (ATM) business area.

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