Navy seeking a new, small UAS program

By Audrey Decker / January 21, 2022 at 10:22 AM

The Navy is seeking industry input on a new unmanned aircraft system capable of vertical takeoff and landing.

The system would support operations such as mission planning, reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition, patrolling and other expeditionary operations, according to a Jan. 18 request for information.

“The system should be rugged and ready to use as delivered with minimal logistic, training and support requirements. The system should provide real-time full motion video via electro-optical and/or infrared sensors,” according to the RFI.

The unmanned aircraft should be capable of an autonomous or safe manual launch with “minimum support of equipment from a small, confined area,” the RFI states.

Some characteristics of the system include vertical takeoff and landing, minimum endurance of 25 minutes, lightweight and easily portable, maximum two-man setup and high-resolution day and night imagery via electro-optical/infrared sensors, the Navy states.

“The air vehicle should be equipped with a Ground Control Station that is man-portable and consist of the necessary equipment to monitor the sensor(s) position and status and control its movement and view its video or is interoperable with existing common control systems available for U.S. government procurement,” the RFI states.

Mission data collected by the UAS would be stored in the GCS or air vehicle with removable storage, according to the Navy.

Late last year, the Navy and Marine Corps demonstrated resupply capabilities of two unmanned aircraft -- the Tactical Resupply UAS and Blue Water logistics UAS.