Blue sUAS drone maker Skydio has been chosen by the US Army to continue in a final prototyping phase of its Skydio X2D drone. This should result in Skydio delivering the first batch of short-range reconnaissance drones to the US Army.
Skydio about to deliver first batch of drones to US Army
The Skydio X2D drone is a small, short-range reconnaissance quadcopter and is one of the six options that the U.S. Army is evaluating against its program requirements.
“Based on data from this LUT event, and previous milestone evaluations, the Army selected the Skydio system to remain in the prototyping phase,” reports Defense News.
Skydio's final prototype will be evaluated in April and once approved the US Army will go ahead and acquire the first batch of Skydio X2D drones.
“We are proud to have been selected by the U.S. Army for the final integration in the SRR program,” Adam Bry, Skydio's CEO, said in a Feb. 9 statement. “The Army has done incredible work to ensure our soldiers have access to cutting-edge Drone Technology. This milestone is the result of years of research and development in autonomous flight and core technologies. It is a testament to the breakthrough capabilities of the Skydio X2D and our world-class team.”
The Skydio X2D will feature a color FLIR thermal sensor and a GPS-based night flight capability, strobe lighting, and Skydio's AI-based self-flying capabilities. The drone offers a foldable and portable system “that leverages hyper-strength composites to withstand the most demanding environments,” and can stay airborne for up to 35 minutes.
The US Army requires drones that are available through its program to be assembled in two minutes or less and have an operational range of over 3 kilometers, flight endurance greater than 30 minutes, and can fly through dust and rain, and other degraded environments.
The Pentagon's Defense Innovation Unit chose five American-manufactured (assembled) Drone Companies whose aircraft almost certainly still contain Chinese made parts as part of the so-called Blue sUAS group. Those drone makers include Altavian, Parrot, Skydio, Teal, and Vantage Robotics.
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