As part of the country’s efforts to ensure a robust industrial base of small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) for national and economic security, the Department of Defense (DoD) Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) awarded eight awards, totaling approximately $ 14 million as part of the Defense Production Law, Title III program.
These recent awards are part of a larger DIU strategy to accelerate the adoption of capable and secure sUAS through the “UAS blue” efforts. This effort is focused on increasing DoD’s access to trade systems and strengthening the industrial base to disrupt the dominance currently demonstrated in the supply chain by one of the nation’s close adversaries.
Various sUAS provide troops with live, persistent, high-definition images and video at all times, reducing the need for troops to compete for scarce centralized assets like large-scale UASs. Additionally, troops use sUAS to search for and detonate improvised explosive devices (IEDs), clear and map buildings, and flush out barricaded shooters. sUAS also dramatically increases weld capacity by allowing flexible payloads to meet a wide variety of mission sets.
The winning companies are Systems and Technology Research LLC DBA STR, Skydio Inc., Shield AI Inc., Auterion Government Solutions (two prizes), Kutta Technologies Inc., Vantage Robotics LLC, and Tomahawk Robotics, Inc.
“sUAS significantly augment our national defense,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy Jesse Salazar. “This investment in the defense industrial base is intended to provide critical battlefield capabilities across the spectrum of conflict, including on-demand reconnaissance which augments service members’ capabilities and increases their survivability, lethality, and mission flexibility.”