Aircraft major, The Boeing Company’s BA subsidiary, Insitu Inc. recently secured a modification contract to exercise an option for the procurement of full-rate production of one Lot I RQ-21A Blackjack Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). The procurement will be done for the Marine Corps.

    Details of the Deal

    Valued at $8 million, the contract was awarded by the Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, MD. Per the terms, the UAS will consist of air vehicles, ground control stations, launch and recovery equipment, air vehicle support equipment kit, and systems engineering and program management.

    Majority of the work related to the deal will be carried out in Bingen, WA while the rest will be done in Hood River, OR. Fiscal 2017 aircraft procurement (Marine Corps) funds will be utilized to finance the work, which is expected to be over by Jan 2018.

    A Brief Note on Blackjack UAS

    The RQ-21A Blackjack system is a modular, versatile and multi-mission capable UAS that provides rapid transitions between land and maritime environments. The aircraft can safeguard military bases and activities through a pattern of life identification and explosive device detection.

    Its electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) payloads support real-time monitoring to provide indications and threat warnings while its plug-and-play payloads enable multi-intelligence capability to support a broad range of operations.

    Price Performance

    Shares of Boeing have rallied 46.4% over the last 12 months, outperforming the Zacks categorized Aerospace–Defense industry’s gain of 25.3%. This could be because the company’s strong balance sheet and cash flows provide financial flexibility in matters of incremental dividend, ongoing share repurchases and earnings accretive acquisitions. In addition, the company poses strong competition to its peers like Lockheed Martin Corp. LMT, General Dynamics Corp. GD and Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. HII.