Project Valkyrie will procure aircraft to conduct “Close Air Support/Intelligence Surveillance and Recognisance emulation on collective training exercises enables Air Land Integration (ALI) training to occur”.
A contract tender notice has been posted for a £9m contract called ‘Project Valkyrie’, please note that the above image is a generic file photo of a drone and is not indicative of any specific plans.
The contract tender specifies that Air Land Integration training forms part of the mandatory ‘Collective Training Objectives’ that Field Army units are validated or certified against on collective training exercises in order to be assessed as capable of holding readiness or deploying on operations.
It’s stated that the requirement is for “a manned air platform or platforms and aircrew capable of operating to Visual Flight Rules (VFR) and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) by day or night whilst performing CAS/ISR tasks, to emulate existing and future military manned & unmanned capabilities, in support of exercising troops on CTG exercises, in the UK and overseas”.
The tendering deadline is the 15th of July 2022 and the delivery estimate is the 5th of June, 2023.
Project Valkyrie joins Project Vampire, a Royal Navy effort to deliver similar at sea but with drones.
Qinetiq was recently awarded a £6.7 million contract for Phase 1 of ‘Project Vampire’, a project aiming to procure low-cost fixed-wing drones for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance activities in addition to threat simulation. According to the contract award notice, the outline of the project is as follows.
“Project VAMPIRE sits within the Develop Directorate of Navy Command and aims to address a number of capability problem sets utilising a low-cost Fixed Wing Uncrewed Air Vehicle (UAV) as a means for the development of operational concepts, payload types, and associated communication and digital architecture.”
According to the contract notice, Phase 1 of project Vampire will run as a 4 year project with an option to extend by 1 year until 31 March 2026.
The project is being contracted to deliver the following:
- Four Air Vehicles (In Royal Navy livery as agreed with the authority), with one additional per year in 2023-24 and 2024-25, with options to purchase up to 10 more and an option to extend the contract until 31/03/2026.
- One Launcher with options to purchase up to 2 more.
- One ground control station and aerials, with options to purchase up to 2 more.
- Training for operators in 2022-23, with a repeat in 2024-25.
- Maintainer training for first-line servicing in 2022-23, with a repeat in 2024-25.