The Marine Corps this week issued a notice seeking industry ideas to address a force protection capability gap the Marines have in protecting their installations from the threat of small drones.

“This gap presents a significant vulnerability to the security, safety, and protection of personnel, facilities and assets,” says the Nov. 15 Request for Information for Installation-Counter small UAS (I-CsUAS).

The RFI says the Marine Corps is looking for solutions to detect, identify, track and defeat small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) at 20 installations within the continental U.S. (CONUS) and 13 installations outside the CONUS. The UAS of concern are Groups 1 and 2, which have a maximum gross take off weight of between zero and 20 pounds for the former and 21 to 55 pounds for the latter.

Requirements include defeating drones via non-kinetic means such as electromagnetic, acoustic “or other signature disruptions,” says the RFI issued by the Program Executive Officer Land Systems, Program Manager, Ground Based Air Defense.

The Marines say they want an “affordable” solution that can be obtained “within an accelerated acquisition schedule.”

Other requirements for the I-CsUAS include round-the-clock operations regardless of weather, the use of multi-modal active and passive sensors fused into a single view for an operator, the ability to passively detect radio frequency signals from the potential threat drones, automatically alert operators, and provide “real time, automated object detection and identification to be able to autonomously detect, identify, classify, and track objects of interest.”

The RFI also says that user interface for the counter-sUAS solution must reduce operator workload, allowing users to “respond or ignore based on the threat, rules of engagement, etc.”

A two-day industry day is planned in Northern Virginia to discuss the I-CsUAS effort some time in fiscal year 2023. Responses to the RFI are due by Jan. 13, 2023.