Senate appropriators ask for Army C-UAS report

By Jaspreet Gill / November 11, 2020 at 12:25 PM

Senate appropriators are asking the Army secretary to provide a report on the service's management plan and assessment of counter-unmanned aerial systems requirements, following the Army being designated earlier this year to lead the joint effort to field counter-drone technology.

The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee's mark of the fiscal year 2021 defense spending bill asks the Army to include as part of its report "a list of validated requirements; a detailed listing of related acquisition programs across the department; resourcing requirements; research and development priorities; an assessment of the need for a C-UAS center of excellence; and the organization, structure and responsibilities of the Joint C-UAS office."

The Army in January was put in charge of C-UAS efforts under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Sean Gainey, who established the Joint C-UAS Office.

The office in June completed assessments with 40 currently fielded systems, downselecting to eight interim systems for future investments, and in September received an approved set of operational requirements for its C-UAS effort.

A C-UAS strategy is set to be on its way to the defense secretary's office for approval, officials from the JCO told reporters recently.

Senate appropriators are also asking the Army's Combat Capabilities Development Command to ensure hybrid propulsion systems for future UAS incorporate "cutting-edge research and development."

The command's director should "assess the viability of a center for UAS propulsion that leverages existing partnership with universities, commercial industry and Army components," according to the subcommittee's mark.

The committee included a $15 million program increase for multifuel hybrid propulsion for UAS. The Army did not request funding for the effort in FY-21.