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Shield AI to Deliver VTOL Drone System to Coast Guard Under $198M Award

Shield AI will provide its V-BAT vertical take-off and landing unmanned aircraft system to the U.S. Coast Guard under a five-year, $198 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract.

The V-BAT is a fully deployable single-engine UAS with a ducted fan design that can launch and recover from a hover and fly horizontally, Shield AI said Monday.

The drone uses electro-optical and infrared sensors and communications relays to provide maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in support of Coast Guard missions.

In a separate announcement, the Coast Guard said the contract covers V-BAT installation and de-installation as well as pilot and mission training.

“V-BAT’s selection by the U.S. Coast Guard is indicative of a broader market movement where increasingly customers are recognizing they can accomplish the vast majority of their mission sets with affordable drones rather than exquisite, expensive crewed or uncrewed aircraft,” said Brandon Tseng, co-founder and president of Shield AI.

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