Wholly owned QinetiQ subsidiary Foster-Miller Inc, announced today that its IDIQ (indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity) contract from the Robotic Systems Joint Program Office administered by the Naval Air Warfare Training Systems Division (NAVAIR) has been increased from $63.9 million to $150 million to accommodate the purchase of additional TALON® robots and replacement parts for service in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Military personnel at the Joint Robotic Repair and Fielding Activity (JRFF) ‘Robot Hospitals’ in Iraq are repairing more than 400 robots a week from bomb damage to put them back into service remotely neutralising improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Soldiers, sailors, marines and air force personnel conduct more than 30,000 counter-IED missions per year in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Insurgents have been purposely blowing up robots, but they are being repaired and returned to the fight within just four hours. JRFF records show that TALON robots, because of their ruggedness and durability, represent 75 percent of the bomb-damaged robots that are rebuilt and returned to action so the robot hospitals need to be constantly restocked with TALON replacement parts.
“We appreciate and admire the commitment of the Robotics Systems Joint Program Office and the service members manning the robot hospitals doing everything humanly possible to make sure our military personnel have robots to send out to investigate and neutralise suspected IEDs,” said Dr William Ribich, president and CEO of Foster-Miller.