Military Embedded Systems

DARPA issues RFI for protection against small unmanned air systems


August 17, 2016

Mariana Iriarte

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Photo by DARPA

ARLINGTON, VA. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) officials issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking ideas and approaches to improve protection of fixed and mobile ground and naval forces against a variety of small unmanned air systems (sUAS) threats and tactics.

“DARPA is interested in identifying novel, flexible, and mobile layered defense systems and component technologies to address this increasingly important issue as well as conventional threats,” says Jean-Charles Ledé, DARPA program manager. “We’re looking for scalable, modular, and affordable approaches that could be fielded within the next three to four years and could rapidly evolve with threat and tactical advancements.”

After reviewing the RFI responses, DARPA states they may invite those who submitted their ideas to attend a Mobile Force Protection workshop at the agency’s offices in Arlington, Virginia, which is to be scheduled for September 2016. The ideas submitted, officials say, may also support development of new DARPA programs that aim to protect mobile forces, including counter-unmanned air systems (CUAS) capabilities.

DARPA officials request the RFI to be short responses in five pages or less in the following technical areas:

  • Conceptual designs and performance capabilities that will include substantiating preliminary performance data (if available) for the concept of operations
  • Technology maturity assessment that will include data to substantiate the maturity of the technology as well as identifying key risk areas requiring mitigation to enable system demonstration
  • Program outline for maturing the system to the point where it would be ready for demonstration, including high-level rough order of magnitude (ROM) cost and schedule
  • System affordability assessment
  • Estimated size, weight, and power requirements
  • Ability to address other threats
  • Ability to integrate third-party subsystems


DARPA is encouraging participation from all capable sources including private and publice companies, individuals, universities, foreign entities, not-for-profit research institutions, and U.S. Government-sponsored laboratories. For details and submission requirements, visit:



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