Army asking for white papers for autonomous resupply concept

By Jaspreet Gill / December 4, 2020 at 12:36 PM

The Army has released a request for information for its Joint Tactical Autonomous Aerial Supply System robotic and automated capabilities concept of operations.

Army Futures Command Sustainment Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate and the Marine Corps Capabilities Development and Integration are currently working on a JTAARS capabilities development document for innovative ways to resupply soldiers and Marines with ammunition, water and medical supplies when traditional resupply methods aren’t available, according to an April 9 Army press release.

The services intend to utilize supply drone concepts with a Technology Readiness Level 6 and have first unit equipped for operational use by 2026, according to a Dec. 3 Army notice.

Specifically, the services are focusing on "Unmanned Logistics Systems-Air Medium, a Department of Defense UAS Group 3 or lower vertical takeoff and landing system with beyond line-of-sight command and control, approximately 110-mile radius, a common handheld ground monitoring/control station and capable of transporting up to 800 pounds of any class of supply."

Operational performance characteristics for JTAARS drones include hardware and software that has a modular open systems architecture framework allowing for a variety of payloads and mission planning software, being able to autonomously take off and land in conditions with minimum visibility and GPS-denied environments and more.

Additionally, the control system must be able to be integrated into current and future tactical command and control systems at the brigade combat team and regiment levels.

Industry should respond by Feb. 12, 2021 with white papers and a PowerPoint presentation.