U.S. drone manufacturer Skydio on Tuesday said it won a potential $99.8 million Army contract to provide its backpackable X2D quadcopter unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for the Short Range Reconnaissance (SRR) program.
The base value of the five-year contract is for $20.2 million. California-based Skydio said they were the only company selected for the SRR program out of five finalists. An Army spokesman told Defense Daily on Wednesday that the contract was awarded on Nov. 19, 2021, and the first deliveries of drones were received on Dec. 6.
The Army’s solicitation last November said the SRR “is intended to be an inexpensive, rucksack portable, vertical take-off and landing small unmanned aircraft that provides the platoon with a rapidly deployable intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capability to provide situational awareness beyond the next terrain feature.”
The X2D can fly up to 35 minutes on a single battery, features a foldable, composite airframe, dual-color optical thermal sensors, and GPS-based night flight and strobe lighting. The small UAS also pairs with Skydio’s artificial intelligence flight autonomy software.
The award was made through an Other Transaction Agreement and managed ty the Army Program Executive Office for Aviation, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project Management Office.
“The selection of the U.S. Army’s short range reconnaissance provider for Tranche 1 is a significant milestone for the Army, our strategic partners and the domestic industrial base,” Col. Joseph Anderson, project manager for UAS, said in a statement.
The Army also partnered with the Defense Department’s Defense Innovation Unit on the SRR program.