IRobot announced that they had been awarded an estimated $30 contract for Packbot FasTac over the next four years, there is also an additional $3 million spares contract. The FasTac will be used in screening and other counter IED roles, and this contract replaces an expiring IDIQ. All deliveries under this order will be completed by the end of Q4 2013.
iRobot have consistently made in-roads into the DoD over the past few years, and what is significant about this contract is not so much the contract worth, but the contract length - shutting out the competition for the next four years. While there are over a hundred different UGVs in the market (identified in our CBRNe World Directory) many of the contracts go with the same three to four companies; often this is predicated on technical excellence but contractor support and security of supply have also played a large role. It will be interesting to see whether AEODRS (see the last issue) will break with this tradition.