Navy to broaden industry participation in contractor-owned and operated UAS services

By Nick Wilson / May 12, 2023 at 12:34 PM

The Navy is looking to expand the pool of companies providing contractor-owned and operated unmanned aircraft systems for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

Following a February industry day, the Navy published a request for information signaling its intent to broaden industry participation to competitively procure future COCO UAS services supporting Navy and Marine Corps operations.

According to the RFI, Textron Systems and Boeing subsidiary Insitu are currently providing land- and sea-based ISR services under performance-based Basic Ordering Agreements issued in March 2021. These existing BOAs are firm-fixed-price and are set to expire in March, 2026.

Now, the Navy and Marine Corps Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program Office (PMA-263) intends to award additional BOAs to enable more contractors to compete to provide future COCO ISR services, the notice states.

The UAS systems will support land-based and sea-based operations by providing imagery and other sensor data, with contractors assuming responsibility for producing, operating and maintaining the UAS equipment.

They will support “domestic and collation military partners in combat and contingency operations,” the notice adds.

Performance requirements include an operational range of 75 nautical miles from the launch site; on-station time of 10 hours at maximum range; multi-intelligence capabilities with an electronic warfare type sensor; and the ability to launch and recover without a runway and operate in adverse weather conditions.