The Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) has updated its list of drones and companies on its Blue UAS Cleared List that meet security criteria for use by the Department of Defense (DoD) and its agencies.
According to its recent revision, the DIU said it had added five drones and their manufacturers to the list as fully vetted, compliant with criteria, and cleared for use in DoD operations under its Blue sUAS 2.0 project.
Those cited were the Intense Eye V2 drone made by BlueHalo; Wingtra’s Wingtra One; Ascent AeroSystem’s Spirit; eBee Tac by AgEagle unit senseFly; and AltaX by Freefly Systems. Other UAVs on the list are the Skdio X2D, FLIR ION M440, Parrot Anafi USA GOV, Parrot Anafi USA MIL, Teal Golden Eagle, and Vantage Robotic’s Vesper.
Inclusion on the DIU’s list is considered a boon to manufacturers not only because of business opportunities created by potential DoD selection but also because it’s viewed as vouching for the data security of their drones in an era where suspicions about leaks run high and have led to the blacklisting of certain companies.
It also streamlines the purchase and operation of drones on the DIU’s list by the DoD and affiliated agencies by dramatically reducing the documentation and approval procedures required for their clearance.
The creation of the approved list also aims to increase the kinds of craft and capabilities that branches of the U.S. military can operate, and facilitate expanded UAV use in missions like infrastructure inspection, mapping, secondary payloads transportation, and reconnaissance.
“The Blue UAS Cleared List will provide a common approval standard that can save the Services time and money, inform acquisition policy updates, and make it easier for troops to gain access to previously inaccessible commercial tech,” said David Michelson, DIU program manager for Blue UAS. “Blue sUAS 2.0 vendors have been great partners while we prototype this new process for commercial-off-the-shelf sUAS.”