If you haven’t heard, the Navy is hosting a little competition known as Small Tactical Unmanned Air Systems (STUAS), Tier II. At stake are around a billion dollars in business over 10 years, and de facto leadership in the small UAV market segment within DoD. Insitu (a PNDC member) of Bingen, WA has a lot riding on this competition. Here in the Northwest, a boatload of Insitu subcontractors have grown up with the company’s Scan Eagle UAV. Quite a few of them are holding their breath for a long overdue decision from the Navy on the fate of the Integrator, Insitu’s entry in the STUAS Tier II competition. The Navy originally intended to make a final decision in 2007, but the decision has been slipping to the right for what feels like an eternity, with no hint at when a final call will be made. Until now?
One of our eagle-eyed members picked up a quote from Insitu CEO Steve Sliwa, buried in an article in The Oregonian dated 17 April. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
“Sliwa said his attention is focused these days on a Pentagon decision, expected within 30 days, about expanding its use of unmanned robotic aircraft.”
Is the Navy preparing to make a decision? I, for one, have no idea. As they say over at Fox News: we report, you decide.
PS: There are also a couple of interesting nuggets about Insitu’s facilities for those of you who follow the company closely.