The Defense Department’s office assessing defenses against small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) is seeking white paper submissions leading to operational assessments next spring of counter-sUAS (C-sUAS)-as-a-service and of high-power microwave (HPM) solutions that can defeat drones.
For the HPM assessment, the Joint C-sUAS Office (JCO) says it is seeking fixed ground-based solutions at a technology readiness level of six, which essentially refers to a prototype system and has been tested in a high-fidelity laboratory environment or simulated operational setting. The JCO wants solutions that can generate enough energy to “destroy or defeat” multiple sUAS at various ranges attacking at the same time from different elevations and azimuths.
Solutions that jam or deny communications links won’t be selected, the JCO says in a Nov. 9 notice published in the federal government’s business opportunities site, Sam.gov. The office also says that awards related to the HPM effort may include prototypes, “but also concept demonstrations, pilots and agile development activities that can incrementally improve commercial technologies, existing government-owned capabilities, or concepts for defense application.”
The model for the C-sUAS-as-a-Service (CaaS) demonstration is contractor-owned, government-operated paid with an annual fee for multiple configurations. Vendors will be evaluated on the ability of their CaaS solution to protect locations over three days and on their proposed business model to understand the total ownership cost for customers for a one-year base period and four option years.
The JCO says the CaaS effort will inform the DoD C-sUAS joint community and, like the HPM evaluation, will include a demonstration next April at the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona.
The CaaS effort will protect a fixed-location that is one-mile wide and two miles long with a command center with capabilities to detect, identify and defeat drones.
Responses to the Army’s Rapid Capabilities Office for both efforts are due by Nov. 29. Selected vendors will be responsible for paying for and bringing their systems to the evaluation. The government may make one or multiple awards based on successful evaluations and available funding for both efforts.