French manufacturer Parrot said Tuesday it has been selected as one of six companies for the Army’s $11 million program to test prototypes of a new short-range reconnaissance (SRR) drone, with the aim of moving toward production in the next few months.
Parrot, which described itself as “the leading European drone group,” said its drone offering met the Army’s requirements for a small surveillance drone capable of fitting in a soldier’s pack, flying for 30 minutes, and at a range of up to three kilometers.
“Parrot is proud to have been selected by the Army to work on this highly strategic project,” Henri Seydoux, CEO of Parrot, said in a statement. “We have always been at the forefront creating advanced, easy to use, compact and reliable drone-based solutions. We also perfectly understand how small unmanned aircraft, such as the Parrot ANAFI platform, has the potential to become a key part of the defense system. We look forward to focusing our advanced R&D on meeting the high standards set by the U.S. Army, to integrate drone efficiency in their day to day operations and support the world leading army defense system.”
The Army has teamed with Defense Innovation Unit, the Pentagon’s experimental technology office, for the SRR drone project to find a commercial offering for the next-generation rapidly deployable ISR small UAS platform.
In late April, officials announced six vendors had been selected to work on SRR drone prototypes, without disclosing the names of the companies, with the goal of moving from testing to production for a select capability in months rather than years (Defense Daily, April 29).
Parrot officials said the company is offering its ANAFI platform as a prototype SRR capability.