MELBOURNE, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has selected L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX) and Air Tractor Inc.’s AT-802U Sky Warden™ system for its Armed Overwatch program. Award of the Indefinite Quantity, Indefinite Delivery contract includes a cost ceiling of $3 billion. The program includes delivery of up to 75 manned, fixed wing aircraft, with an initial program contract award of $170 million.
The fleet of modern multi-mission aircraft will address SOCOM’s need for a deployable, sustainable single-engine fixed-wing, crewed and affordable aircraft system. It will provide close air support, precision strike, armed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), strike coordination and forward air controller requirements for use in austere and permissive environments. The aircraft will be used in irregular warfare operations.
“An important part of our Trusted Disruptor strategy is listening closely to combatant commanders’ needs, and responding faster than the evolving threats,” said Christopher E. Kubasik, Chair and Chief Executive Officer, L3Harris. “We want to deliver game-changing, modular solutions to U.S. special operators for their hardest missions, and Sky Warden does just that.”
L3Harris expects to rapidly modify last summer’s Armed Overwatch prototype demonstrator into the production configuration and provide for customer weapon system testing in approximately six months. Production of new, fully-modified, Armed Overwatch mission-configured aircraft will begin in 2023 at L3Harris’ Tulsa, Okla. modification center, following initial production at Air Tractor’s Olney, Texas aircraft manufacturing facility. Six new aircraft will be delivered under the low-rate initial production Lot 1.
“Sky Warden will bring powerful and affordable close air support, precision strike, armed ISR, and command and control capabilities directly to special operations forces in the battlefield,” said Sean Stackley, President, Integrated Mission Systems, L3Harris. “We are ready now to begin work on this modern, multi-mission system for the SOCOM Armed Overwatch program.”
The production-ready Sky Warden system is tailorable for a variety of mission requirements to meet U.S. mission needs.
“The Sky Warden design reflects our commitment to America’s national security and the AT-802U will be equipped with everything we’ve learned manufacturing aircraft over the past 46 years,” said Jim Hirsch, President, Air Tractor Inc. “The L3Harris team is an excellent partner, and our production and engineering staff are ready to immediately deliver this world-class product to our nation’s special forces.”
Learn more about Sky Warden at www.L3Harris.com/SkyWarden.
About L3Harris Technologies
L3Harris Technologies is an agile global aerospace and defense technology innovator, delivering end-to-end solutions that meet customers’ mission-critical needs. The company provides advanced defense and commercial technologies across space, air, land, sea and cyber domains. L3Harris has more than $17 billion in annual revenue and 47,000 employees, with customers in more than 100 countries. L3Harris.com.
About Air Tractor Inc.
Air Tractor is a leading manufacturer of purpose-built aircraft for agricultural, firefighting, and utility applications. Air Tractor aircraft can be found in more than 30 countries around the world and are supported by a global network of Air Tractor dealers. Air Tractor delivered its 4,000th aircraft in March 2021 and has manufactured aircraft for 46 years. https://airtractor.com/
This press release contains forward-looking statements that reflect management’s current expectations, assumptions and estimates of future performance and economic conditions. Such statements are made in reliance upon the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The company cautions investors that any forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results and future trends to differ materially from those matters expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements. Statements about the value or expected value of orders, contracts or programs and about system capabilities are forward-looking and involve risks and uncertainties. L3Harris disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.