Boeing Wins Defense Contracts for V-22, New UAV

The Department of Defense announced 14 defense contracts Tuesday, worth $263.4 million in aggregate. Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) won one of them -- or maybe one and a half:

Boeing's unmanned aerial vehicle-building subsidiary Insitu was awarded an $8.8 million option exercise to supply the U.S. Navy with a single Low Rate Initial Production II RQ-21A "Blackjack" Unmanned Aircraft System, including air vehicles, ground control stations, launch and recovery equipment, and air vehicle support equipment. Delivery is due May 2014. 

Boeing's Blackjack. Source: Insitu.

Measuring 8.2 feet in length by 16 feet in wingspan, the 81-pound Blackjack is considered a small UAV. It is launched by catapult, has a flight endurance of 13 hours or more, and can fly at speeds of up to 90 knots. Unarmed, it is considered primarily a surveillance and reconnaissance drone.

Boeing's other contract win actually went to the company's joint venture with Textron (NYSE: TXT  ) , the Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office. Bell-Boeing was awarded an $18.1 million contract modification to provide continued logistics support for U.S. Marine Corps, Air Force, and Special Forces Operations Command versions of the JV's V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft. This contract will now run through January.

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