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Pentagon Gives 5 US Companies Approval for Drone Sales

Sputnik News

13:37 GMT 20.08.2020

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Five US drone manufacturers have received the Pentagon's approval for military sales as part of a broader effort to enhance national security and avoid using systems manufactured in China, the Pentagon's Defense Innovation Unit said in a statement on Thursday.

"The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), a Department of Defense (DOD) organisation that accelerates commercial technology for national defence, announced the availability of five US-manufactured drone configurations to provide trusted, secure small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) options to the US Government", the statement said.

The companies, including Altavian, Parrot, Skydio, Teal, and Vantage Robotics, will provide their inexpensive, portable, vertical take-off and landing small drones for purchase on the General Services Administration (GSA) schedule by September 2020.

The DIU's Blue sUAS effort allows US government customers to avoid products manufactured in China in compliance with Section 848 of the National Defense Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2020, the statement read.

"Blue sUAS represents a tremendous first step toward building a robust and trusted UAS domestic industrial base that ensures sustained delivery of highly-capable, secure UAS to the warfighters that depend on it", acting Under Secretary of Defence for research and engineering Michael Kratsios said.

DIA Director Mike Brown stressed the importance of finding alternatives to Chinese-made drones.

"Blue sUAS is a first step in achieving that objective", he added. "Working across DOD and the US government aggregates the business opportunity for these five vendors and enhances the long-term viability of this capability for the US and our allies".

The US Congress last year banned the Pentagon from using Chinese drones by including a measure, authored by Senator Chris Murphy, as part of the 2020 defence spending bill, or National Defence Authorisation Act.


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