Insitu has won back the contract to provide UAV intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) services to U.S. Special Operations Command (Socom), after AAI was dismissed from the contract it won away from Insitu last year.

Boeing subsidiary Insitu has received a 25-month, potentially $190 million contract to provide ISR support to Socom under the Mid-Endurance Unmanned Aircraft System (MEU) program.

AAI unseated Insitu as ISR services provider to Socom in February 2012 when it was awarded the three-year, potentially $600 million MEU II program. AAI planned to use its Aerosonde small UAV.

But in October 2012, AAI parent company Textron posted a $14 million charge to cover higher-than-expected startup costs on its Aerosonde fee-for-service operations for Socom and the U.S. Navy.

Then reports emerged in January that AAI had been dismissed from MEU II for poor performance, and that an “MEU 1.5” contract was to be awarded to original service provider Insitu to cover the gap.

Confirming that Insitu is sending crews and hardware back into theater to support U.S. special operations forces, Paul Allen, vice president for business development, says “we won the business back because of our expertise and history.”

Insitu began fee-for-service operations with its ScanEagle UAV in 2004, supporting the U.S. Marine Corps in Fallujah, Iraq. “It was a really painful learning experience, but we have defined what power-by-the-hour is,” he says.

Having won the business away from Insitu on price, AAI publicly acknowledged it underestimated the resources and costs required to start up Aerosonde fee-for-service operations simultaneously for Socom and the Navy.

Allen says Insitu was able to convince Socom that it could deploy crews and hardware within the schedule required “to seamlessly provide coverage and meet their timelines.”