AF Loses UAV Grip



From Aerospace Daily...

Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England has halted the U.S. Air Force's controversial push to take over management of the Pentagon's growing Unmanned Air System (UAS) fleet. USAF Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley made the proposal in a March 5 memo to take over management of all Pentagon UAS programs. It was met with ire from officials in the Army and Navy.

More from Amy Butler's Aerospace Daily report...

Predator and Sky Warrior are the only programs directly mentioned in his Sept. 13 memo to the services and civilian Pentagon offices. "The Predator and Sky Warrior programs will be combined into a single acquisition program, to include a common data link, in order to achieve common development, procurement, sustainment and training activities," England says. The contract merger should be complete by October 2008, he says. England does not suggest which service should lead this effort.

In lieu of forming an executive agency in the Air Force, England directs that an interagency task force will address how to promote interoperability and efficient operations of UASs.

This decision also relieves the Navy of concerns that the Air Force could subsume oversight of its high-dollar UAS contracts - including the Unmanned Combat Air System-Demonstrator recently awarded to Northrop Grumman and a soon-to-be-decided Broad Area Maritime Surveillance contract.

(Gouge: NC)

-- Christian

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