U.S. small unmanned systems industrial base gets $14 million DoD boostNews
October 25, 2021
ARLINGTON, Vir. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) has made eight awards through the Defense Production Act, Title III Program -- totaling approximately $14 million -- as part of the DIU's strategy to accelerate the adoption of capable and secure small unmanned aerial systems (sUASs) for national and economic security,
The DIU's “Blue UAS” effort, say officials, is focused on increasing DoD access to commercial systems and strengthening the industrial base to disrupt the dominance currently demonstrated in the supply chain by a near-peer adversary of the U.S. Different types of sUASs provide troops with live, persistent, high-definition imagery and video, thereby reducing their need to compete for scarce centralized assets like large-scale UAS; additionally troops are able to use sUASs to look for and safely detonate explosives, clear and map buildings, and flush out hidden snipers.
Jesse Salazar, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy, said of the DIU's award announcement: “sUAS significantly augment our national defense. 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.”
The companies receiving the awards are Systems and Technology Research (D/B/A STR), Skydio Inc., Shield AI Inc., Auterion Government Solutions (two separate awards), Kutta Technologies, Vantage Robotics, and Tomahawk Robotics.