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Feb 11, 2022

The US Army throws $20 million into AI-equipped, foldable quadcopters

Posted by in categories: drones, mapping, robotics/AI, surveillance

The U.S. Army has awarded a $20 million a year contract to a California-based drone manufacturer, named Skydio, as part of its efforts to move away from foreign-made and commercially available off-the-shelf drones. Skydio revealed in a press release that it would supply its X2D drones for the U.S. Army’s Short Range Reconnaissance (SSR) Program.

With an aim to equip its soldiers with rapidly deployable aerial solutions that can conduct reconnaissance and surveillance activities over short ranges, the Army’s SSR program has been considering small drones for some time now. More than 30 vendors submitted their proposals to the Army, and five finalists were shortlisted for rigorous testing.

The Drive accessed a federal contract from 2017 that listed the minimal specifications of the SSR program which include a flight time of 30 minutes, a range of 1.86 nautical miles (3 km), and the ability to tolerate winds up to 15 knots. With the singular purpose of reconnaissance, the drone does not need to have swappable payloads but it should support mapping missions and the ability to geotag imagery. U.S. Army has awarded a $20 million a year contract to a California-based drone manufacturer, named Skydio, as part of its efforts to move away from foreign-made and commercially available off-the-shelf drones. Skydio revealed in a press release that it would supply its X2D drones for the U.S. Army’s Short Range Reconnaissance (SSR) Program.

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