DOD Announces Five U.S. Manufactured Drone Configurations Available to U.S. Government
The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) at the Department of Defense (DOD) has announced that the agency has identified five secure small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) manufactured in the U.S. that meet requirements to be bought and used by the U.S. government. While sUAS have been available in the commercial market and have been used by military forces throughout the world, the U.S. federal government has not, until now, been able to successfully identify systems that meet requirements to be used in domestic military capacities.
These sUAS that meet DOD requirements are being called “Blue sUAS.” Michael Kratsios, acting undersecretary of defense for research and engineering, has commented that, “Blue sUAS represents a tremendous first step toward building a robust and trusted UAS domestic industrial base that ensures sustained delivery of highly-capable, secure UAS to the warfighters that depend on it.” The Blue sUAS are in accordance with Section 848 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, which prohibits operating or procuring unmanned aircraft systems manufactured in China.
Blue sUAS have brought together nontraditional companies to work jointly on this project and have made it possible to take advantage of the best commercial technology out there. The five drones will be available for U.S. government procurement beginning in September. The five companies responsible for each drone are: Altavian, Parrot, Skydio, Teal, and Vantage Robotics, companies that have not traditionally partnered with DOD in the past.
For more information, read the full press release from the DOD.