The Defense Innovation Unit has announced that starting September, agencies can use the General Services Administration Schedule to buy from five companies small unmanned aerial systems that were made available through the Blue sUAS program.
The Blue sUAS effort stems from DIU’s work backing the U.S. Army’s Short Range Reconnaissance program to develop small drones. The spinoff initiative offers alternative ground controller and radio configurations to support various federal government users and complies with the fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, which blocks the purchase or operation of Chinese-made UAS.
“We need an alternative to Chinese-made small drones and Blue sUAS is a first step in achieving that objective.” said DIU Director Michael Brown. “Working across DOD and the U.S. government aggregates the business opportunity for these five vendors and enhances the long-term viability of this capability for the U.S. and our allies.”
Michael Kratsios, acting undersecretary of defense for research and engineering and a 2020 Wash100 Award winner, said the Blue sUAS program marks the initial step toward developing a domestic industrial base that can deliver secure UAS to warfighters.