DoD issues needs statement to counter UxS threat

On April 3, the Office of the Secretary of Defense posted the Counter Multi-Domain Uncrewed Systems (UxS): Counter-Autonomy/Counter-Artificial Intelligence (AI) Needs Statement. Responses are due by 5:00 p.m. Eastern on May 12.

Multi- and cross-domain Uncrewed Systems (UxS) continue to be a threat to U.S. forces around the world. This threat is expanding in all domestic and international regions. As outlined in the 2022 National Defense Strategy it is imperative that we pace the threat. Further, this threat is no longer just in the aerial domain, but also from ground, subterranean, sea, and undersea domains. Near-peer adversary nations are rapidly incorporating robust UxS capabilities into their military formations, and non-state actors are using UxS to increase their asymmetric advantage. The incorporation of autonomy into UxS increases the threat due to UxS improved navigation in highly cluttered environments, extended operating duration, and circumvention of traditional indication, warning, and defensive systems.

To defend the homeland and protect our military forces against this multi-dimensional threat, the Department of Defense (DoD) is looking for technologies that will support an effective layered defense against UxS with advanced autonomy or artificial intelligence. This Needs Statement is seeking information about technologies from private industry for inclusion in future capability demonstrations, experimentation events, and ultimately, the rapid fielding of solutions for protecting and enabling the force to mitigate this threat. The technologies should provide capabilities that:

  • Counter the effectiveness of an autonomous UxS swarm by impacting the ability of UxS to detect (e.g., decoys, camouflage, and countering computer vision).
  • Impact and impede UxS navigation through passive and active effectors (e.g., barriers, artificially modified terrain, and access control points).
  • Protect or rapidly recover from physical and electronic UxS attacks by employing traditional kinetic, directed energy, and control link attacks in combination to defeat individual or multiple UxS platforms in rapid succession without exhausting defensive capabilities.

Provide assessment capabilities to measure the efficacy of the above approaches.

The DoD Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD (R&E)) Innovation & Modernization (I&M) Office, in coordination with the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Matters (DASD (NM)), the Joint Staff/J8 (Force Protection Division), the Test Resource Management Center (TRMC), and the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division will conduct an Innovation Outreach Solutions Meeting focused on countering multi-domain UxS, counter autonomy, and counter artificial intelligence. This event is seeking solutions that can support a layered defense against multiple and cross-domain UxS operating in small numbers or as an autonomous swarm. Solutions can include technologies for enhanced detection, classification, tracking, identification, autonomous defense, and passive defeat. Topic areas with example needs are provided below.

The Innovative Outreach Solutions Meeting provides selected companies with an opportunity to make short technical presentations to government representatives about their potential solutions on or around mid-July 2023. Results of this effort inform decision-makers about emerging and available technology solutions that enhance or improve operational capabilities.

Review the DoD UxS needs statement.

Source: SAM

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