Outrider TUAV Program


The Outrider Tactical UAV (TUAV) program is an Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) to support tactical commanders with near-real-time imagery intelligence (IMINT) at ranges beyond 200km and on-station endurance greater than 4 hours. This ACTD replaces the Hunter and Maneuver UAV programs in seeking to provide reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition (RSTA) and combat assessment (CA) at Army brigade/battalion, Navy task force and Marine Corps regimental/battalion levels. The ACTD involves a two-year cost-plus contract with a low-rate initial production (LRIP) option, and is valued at $52.6 million. Prime contractor is Alliant Techsystems, Hopkins, MN.




4 Air Vehicles
4 Modular Mission Payloads
2 Ground Control Stations and Data Terminals
1 Remote Video Terminal
Launch & Recovery and Ground Support Eqpt


Sensors: EO/IR (SAR growth)
Deployment: Single C-130
Radius: 200 km (108 nm)
Endurance: >4 hrs (+ reserve) @ 200 km
Max Altitude: 4.6 km (15,000 ft)
Cruise Speed: 167 km/hr (90 kts)

Funding (TUAV) ($M):

RDT&E (Defense-wide)
· Outrider
· Tactical Control System
· Common Systems Dev't





Program Status

On 21December 1995, the USD(A&T) approved initiation of an ACTD for a single TUAV system to meet joint Service requirements. The ACTD's primary objective is to develop a joint
tactical UAV that best meets basic performance requirements, as defined by the JROC, within target costs of $350,000 for the 33rd basic air vehicle (AV) with sensor and $300,000 for the 100th AV with sensor. The system must also demonstrate military utility and comply with Joint Integration Interface (JII) standards. (The Tactical Control System [TCS] concept for interoperable UAV command and control will be developed as a parallel program; see pages 24-25).

On 2May 1996, Alliant Techsystems won the ACTD contract to develop its Outrider UAV system. The contract included delivery of six Outrider systems, eight attrition AVs, two Mobile Maintenance Facilities (MMFs), and an LRIP option for six additional systems and two additional MMFs; first flight was required in six months, first system delivery in one year, and the remaining five systems delivered during the second ACTD year. The basic Outrider ACTD includes the mandatory options of a heavy fuel engine (HFE) and the UAV Common Automatic Recovery System (U-CARS); non-mandatory options include incorporation of a tactical data link and a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensor. On 13 September 1996, the USD(A&T) reaffirmed these Outrider options in an Acquisition Decision Memorandum by directing risk mitigation in preparation for the acquisition of U-CARS and HFE, and an executive review of the initiatives for a SAR sensor and a tactical variant of the Common Data Link (CDL).

 Support for Joint Force Tactical Operations




ACTD Performance Requirements*




Range: 200 km  
Target Location Error: Best possible using state of the art GPS (NTE 100m)  
On-Station Endurance:   3 hrs 4 hrs 
Launch and Recovery: Unprepared surface/large deck amphibious ships  Add Automatic TO&L
System Mobility: 2 HMMWVs/1 Trailer  
System Deployablility: Single C-130 (4 AVs & ground equipment)  
Payload: EO/IR SAR 
Integration: EMI shielding/corrosion inhibition  
Data Link: Compliant with JII (200 km LOS at sea level) Common Data Link 
Propulsion System: As provided by Contractor Heavy Fuel Engine 
Cost (AV & Sensor): $350,000 at 33rd AV; $300,000 at 100th AV  

EMI Electromagnetic Interference
LOS Line of Sight
GPS Global Positioning System
NTE Not to Exceed
JII Joint Integration Interface
TO&L Takeoff and Landing

* Ref: Sec C - System Performance Document, TUAV ACTD RFP, 31 Jan 96.

Transition Integrated Product Team (IPT)

Outrider's prospective transition from ACTD to a formal acquisition program will involve a significant level of preparation. A Transition IPT, co-chaired by the ACTD Acquisition Manager and a representative from the USD(A&T)'s Advanced Technology directorate, was established in June 1996. It will ensure that the necessary preparations are made during the ACTD for an effective transition into LRIP (given a favorable decision in FY1998). Its four working-level IPTs are focusing on the areas of requirements, military utility, supportability, and acquisition all of which are addressing the preparations needed to achieve both operational as well as acquisition transition functions.

 The tactical UAV is absolutely critical to our brigade and division commanders.... it is their confirming sensor, and the "eyes" which enable commanders to see critical portions of their battlefield and target anything they can see.

Lieutenant General Paul E. Menoher, Jr.
Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, U.S. Army
5 August 1996