The U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command has awarded Amentum subsidiary PAE Aviation and Technical Services LLC a $136 million contract for Aerial Targets O&M to support the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group’s weapons systems testing and airborne tactics development. The aerial targets squadron has a unique mission providing aerial targets for lethality testing of major weapons systems and munition programs.
“Our proven performance on advanced systems has made us the best partner to aid the Air Force in the latest, fourth-generation Full-Scale Aerial Target designed to test and evaluate U.S. weapons systems and assist in developing tactics, techniques and procedures to counter fighter-size airborne threats,” said Dr. Karl Spinnenweber, President of Amentum’s Critical Missions Group. “We are looking forward to providing critical support to assist in countering threats to our nation’s security.”
Under this contract, the Company will prepare, service, launch, recover, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair QF-16 Full-Scale Aerial Targets, Sub-Scale Aerial Targets, and associated support equipment at the Organizational and Intermediate Level and perform services for range instrumentation systems in support of the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group.
The QF-16 features a modified F-16 airframe integrating a universal remote auto pilot, auto-throttle, and peculiar support equipment with improved fault-isolation capabilities. It also features a visual augmentation system, flight termination system, command telemetry system, vector scoring system, and payload control system. The QF-16 will also support the evaluation of fielded air-to-air missile capabilities, while offering live missile training for combat air crews.
The Company’s efforts include maintenance of on-board state-of-the-art scoring systems for the targets, continuance of sophisticated Range Instrumentation Systems to include drone control, range control and associated instrumentation and advanced communications systems.
Work will be performed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, and Holloman AFB, New Mexico, and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2029. The firm-fixed-price contract has a one-year base period and six one-year option periods.