The Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) has awarded BlueHalo a $14 million deal to develop a small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) autonomous swarming capability, the company said Thursday.

BlueHalo said it will work with Army RCCTO to develop the technology, called HIVE, by leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning for swarm logic capabilities, communications systems and “evolving technologies within an operationally driven system-of-systems framework.”

BlueHalo Recently Awarded Army RCCTO HIVE Contract for the Development of Offensive Swarming UAS. Photo: BlueHalo

“Our customers continue to turn to BlueHalo to achieve what has never been done before and HIVE is another excellent example of utilizing BlueHalo’s capabilities to do just that.  I am incredibly proud of the team’s success and am excited about how we continue to redefine what is possible through inspired engineering,” Jonathan Moneymaker, the company’s CEO, said in a statement. 

The HIVE technology is intended to bring offensive swarming capabilities to sUAS that the company said it will offer “improved mission efficiency, sensor performance, and a reduction in cognitive workload.”

“We are extremely excited to help RCCTO and the Army realize this new, transformational capability,” Jimmy Jenkins, president and general manager of BlueHalo’s defense systems sector, said in a statement. “We are fully committed to ensuring we deliver this solution to the warfighter in the very near future.”

Moneymaker noted the HIVE project is an opportunity to continue working with RCCTO, with the company having previously provided its Independent Target Acquisition and Tracking System for the Army’s Directed Energy Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense (DE M-SHORAD) combat shoot-off.

“The system successfully demonstrated the capability to provide independent precision cues, illumination, and identification to facilitate the kill chain against multiple threats in real-world conditions,” BlueHalo wrote at the time, with the company serving as a subcontractor to Kord Technologies, the 50 kilowatt laser provider for DE M-SHORAD.

BlueHalo was formed in October 2020 when private equity firm Arlington Capital Partners acquired several defense companies, including Aegis Technologies, Applied Technology Associated and Brilligent Solutions (Defense Daily, Oct. 29 2020). 

Last August, BlueHalo acquired Intelligent Automation, Inc., a small research and development (R&D) company, and noted the firm’s expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning could help bolster its own development of drone swarming technology (Defense Daily, Aug. 19 2021).