DIU updates Blue UAS 2.0 cleared UAS list
On August 19, the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition & Sustainment (OUSD(A&S)) announced that they are unveiling the first companies that have passed the vetting required for onboarding policy-compliant, commercial small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) into the Department of Defense (DoD).
The first approved drones to be added to the DIU “Blue UAS Cleared List” as part of the Blue sUAS 2.0 project are:
- Intense Eye V2, by BlueHalo
- WingtraOne, by Wingtra
- Spirit, by Ascent AeroSystems
- eBee Tac, by senseFly, an AgEagle company
- AltaX, by Freefly Systems
Systems added to this list do not require a DoD exception to policy to procure or operate as they have undergone a cyber-security evaluation, an NDAA compliance check, and were issued the necessary administrative documentation. Federal government partners can also leverage this onboarding process for their programmatic needs without duplicating efforts.
In October 2021, DIU issued 11 agreements with non-traditional vendors to participate in this pilot program to prototype a new approval process while significantly increasing the variety of capabilities available to all branches of the U.S. military. This expansion will provide additional sUAS capabilities requested by the DoD and its federal partners, including infrastructure inspection, mapping, carrying secondary payloads, and more traditional reconnaissance tasks.
“The Blue UAS Cleared List will provide a common approval standard that can save the Services time and money, inform acquisition policy updates, and make it easier for troops to gain access to previously inaccessible commercial tech,” said David Michelson, DIU program manager for Blue UAS. “Blue sUAS 2.0 vendors have been great partners while we prototype this new process for commercial-off-the-shelf sUAS.”
DIU’s initial Blue sUAS project, now referred to as “1.0,” was announced in August 2020. Blue sUAS 1.0 made minor modifications to the Army’s final five Short Range Reconnaissance candidate air vehicles. The effort integrated commercially-based ground control stations to create an initial standalone commercial/enterprise configuration available to all of DoD as well as other U.S. government entities. BlueHalo, WingtraOne, Spirit, eBeeTec, AltaX, and the other soon-to-be-announced Blue UAS Cleared List systems will join existing Blue sUAS 1.0 cleared systems on a variety of procurement platforms.
Ongoing updates to the Blue UAS website will provide additional updates on policy, approvals and frequently asked questions for vendors and government use of sUAS.
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