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Paramount Enter Final Phase of US Armed Overwatch Programme

A team from US-based defence engineering company Leidos, in partnership with South African aerospace and defence company Paramount Group, has been selected to enter the final phase of the US Special Operations Command’s (Socom’s) Armed Overwatch aircraft prototype programme.

This strategic relationship, with Leidos as the prime contractor and Paramount and Vertex as primary team-mates, will combine decades of experience integrating, manufacturing, and delivering cutting-edge airborne solutions to the warfighter.

The Bronco II is a rugged, affordable, and sustainable multi-mission aircraft that will be manufactured in Crestview, Fla. The Leidos offering is built to meet the specific needs of the U.S. Special Operations Command.

"Leidos has a long history as a premier provider of airborne solutions," said Gerry Fasano, Leidos Defense Group president. "The Bronco II demonstrates our commitment to providing the best-of-breed in technology, as well as our agility in meeting the needs of our country's national security missions. This offering will leverage each company's expertise to deliver cost-effective innovations for the warfighter."

"Our collaboration with Vertex and Leidos will present the best of capabilities for what will undoubtedly be a critical program to enable U.S Air Force Special Operations Command to deal effectively with the challenges and rigours of modern-day asymmetrical warfare," said Steve Griessel, CEO of Paramount Group USA. "The Bronco II was designed specifically for asymmetrical warfare and will operate at a fraction of the procurement and life-cycle costs of an aircraft with similar mission applications and capabilities."

"We are proud to team with Leidos and Paramount, as we share a commitment to deliver affordable state-of-the-art capabilities to combat the challenges posed by modern, multi-domain operations," said Ed Boyington, Vertex Aerospace CEO and President. "With a long track record of delivering excellence to our customers, we look forward to producing and supporting the purpose-built Bronco II aircraft and weapons system as a transformational tool for our warfighters."

Leidos, Paramount US and Vertex were among five teams awarded a total of $19.3-million for prototype demonstrations and will advance the Bronco II aircraft to the third phase of operational prototype demonstration later in June.

The Bronco II-type aircraft is designed for ultimate mission flexibility, with its internal interchangeable multi-mission system bay enabling a single airframe to be easily and rapidly reconfigured to perform multiple roles.

Such roles include intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; strike control and reconnaissance; forward air control; and close air support. As such, the ideal aircraft should incorporate high-performance sensors, network communication systems, precision weapons, an electronic self-protection suite and mission planning systems.

Paramount Group chairperson Ivor Ichikowitz says Bronco II is the definitive next-generation aircraft, which has been designed to be future-proofed against evolving operational requirements in the asymmetrical battlespace specifically inhabited by Socom.

“Through our partnerships with Leidos, we are looking forward to building on our 27-year legacy of designing and producing rugged technologically advanced systems. Our team has designed and developed an America-centric platform for the world market, and we are looking forward to bringing Bronco II back to America,” he adds.




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