DARPA chooses 3 to battle unmanned aircraft

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded three contracts to start a program for research-and-development of technology to defend against small unmanned aerial systems.

Dynetics, Saab Defense and Security and SRC Inc. received phase one contracts to kick off DARPA's Mobile Force Protection program that seeks tools to deploy within the next three-to-four years. DARPA wants the eventual system to be available for use by other federal agencies and commercial entities.

Deltek data indicates phase one contracts are worth $9.6 million combined, while phase two has a $23.5 million overall value and phase three at $30 million total. DARPA is working on the program with all four military service branches, Department of Homeland Security and Coast Guard.

Awardees will conduct open-air demonstrations to simulate how their systems work under a variety of threats and scenarios. DARPA envisions initial functionality of technology demonstration systems at the end of phase one and progression to full-capability on a moving vehicle or vessel by the end of phase three.

After each demonstration, DARPA will give partner agencies a chance to fund extended field evaluations of each system. 

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also connect with him on LinkedIn.

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