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State Department Taking Contractor Bids for UAVs

The State Department has received dozens of bids from contractors as it seeks to acquire a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles to protect diplomats in Iraq and other high-risk countries.

The department is accepting responses to its request for proposals through April 23, it said in an updated posting Monday on the Federal Business Opportunities website.

The department originally started taking bids in March.

Contracting firms listed as interested vendors on FedBizOpps include:

  • BAE Systems
  • Computer Sciences Corp. (NYSE: CSC)
  • DynCorp International
  • General Atomics’ aeronautical systems affiliate
  • General Dynamics’ (NYSE: GD) information technology business unit
  • L-3 Communications (NYSE: LLL)
  • Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT)
  • SAIC Inc. (NYSE: SAI)
  • Serco Inc.
  • URS Corp.’s (NYSE: URS) federal technical services unit

The department is seeking hand-launched drones that can fly for up to two hours at a time, at altitudes between 500 and 2, 000 feet and at speeds of up to 46 miles per hour.

The department is also requiring those drones to have video and heat sensors that transmit live video to the ground and use built-in GPS navigation at a maximum 250-mile range.

The winning bidder must also supply a second set of drones that can fly for up to six hours at a time and at altitudes of 18, 000 feet, the department said in the RFP.

That contractor will deliver the drones through task orders and will provide pilots, analysts, navigators and global logistics support.

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