San Antonio’s Darkhive Inc. Secures $100 Million Federal Contract for Drone Development

Darkhive Inc., a San Antonio-based startup specializing in drone technology, has received a significant boost with a substantial increase in its federal government contract. The Phase III SBIR contract with AFWERX Autonomy Prime, initially valued at about $5 million, has been raised to a staggering $100 million, extending the ordering period from three to five years.

Major Boost for Emerging Tech Startup

Darkhive Inc., a San Antonio-based startup specializing in , has received a significant boost with a substantial increase in its federal government contract. The Phase III SBIR contract with AFWERX Autonomy Prime, initially valued at about $5 million, has been raised to a staggering $100 million, extending the ordering period from three to five years.

San Antonio's Darkhive Inc. Secures $100 Million Federal Contract For Drone Development 2

AFWERX Autonomy Prime's Role

AFWERX Autonomy Prime, a branch of AFWERX, the innovation arm of the Department of the Air Force, focuses on fostering collaboration between industry and defense for autonomous technology development.

Darkhive's Expanding Influence

Founded in 2021, Darkhive has rapidly gained traction in the defense sector, reportedly securing $14 million in defense contracts in 2023 alone. This funding has allowed the startup to expand its workforce and establish a new 10,000-square-foot headquarters in San Antonio's Lone Star district.

San Antonio's Darkhive Inc. Secures $100 Million Federal Contract For Drone Development 3

Tactical Drone Development

The company, under the leadership of CEO John Goodson, a former Navy combat technician, is developing tactical drones for public safety and military operations. Its flagship product, the Yellowjacket, is a smartphone-operated drone designed for short-range reconnaissance missions.

Yellowjacket: A Game Changer in Tactical Drones

The Yellowjacket stands out with its enclosed propellers, 20 miles per hour travel speed, and durable yet lightweight frame. Priced competitively at under $5,000, it is poised to become a cost-effective alternative in a market where leading manufacturer DJI's drones range from $1,500 to $8,000.

Integrating Innovation with Affordability

Goodson emphasizes Darkhive's success in creating affordable and easily integrated drones, appealing to both industry partners and the . The company's open approach to interface design, both in hardware and software, has been a key factor in this success.

As Darkhive moves towards marketing the Yellowjacket by the year's end, the significant federal funding marks a pivotal moment for the company. It not only bolsters Darkhive's position in drone development but also reinforces the potential of innovative startups in contributing to national defense and public safety technologies.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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