The Defense Department entity charged with accelerating the introduction of commercial technology for national security uses has added BlueHalo’s Intense Eye V2 to its list of trusted, policy compliant small drones that can be purchased by DoD and other customers without further approvals.
The Intense Eye V2 joins four other small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) that the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) in June added to its Blue UAS 2.0 cleared list, including the WingtraOne by Wingtra, Spirit by Ascent AeroSystems, eBee Tac by AgEagle’s senseFly, and the AltaX by Freefly Systems.
The DIU updated its Blue cleared list last week with the BlueHalo quadcopter drone.
The Blue UAS project gives the DoD and federal government an avenue to qualify and purchase commercial drones that aren’t made in countries that are adversarial or hostile to the U.S. after various federal agencies, including DoD, banned the purchase of such systems with some exceptions. The bans are largely aimed at DJI, which is based in China and has the largest share of the commercial market for small drones.
On its website, the DIU says that drones on the cleared list “do not require a DoD exception to policy to procure or operate as they have undergone a cyber-security evaluation, an NDAA compliance check, and were issued the necessary administrative documentation. Federal government partners can also leverage this onboarding process for their programmatic needs without duplicating efforts.”
The fiscal year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) directed DoD to ban the purchase drones and related systems from China.
The five drones that have made the Blue sUAS 2.0 cleared list so far were selected from a pilot program initiated last October to put the sUAS through a new approval process. Other companies in the pilot program include Easy Aerial Inc., Flightwave Aerospace Systems Corp., Harris Aerial, Inspired Flight Technologies, Inc., Skydio, and Vision Aerial.