Flightwave’s drone makes the DIU’s Blue UAS 2.0 grade

Flightwave drone Blue UAS

Defense and security drone specialist Flightwave Aerospace has announced its Edge 130 Blue series of UAVs and related tech have been added to the Blue UAS 2.0 list by the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), joining a select group of craft approved for use by US military and governmental agencies.

Santa Monica-based Flightwave said the DIU issued its Authority to Operate designation covering the aerial system’s Edge 130 Blue drone, Edge 130 Blue Ground Control Station and Mission Planner, and five different company camera payloads, including its Overwatch Gimbal and Mapping Array. The military-grade tricopter is designed for long-range mapping, inspection, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions.

Inclusion of the Flightwave drone platform should increase the total number in the DIU’s Blue UAS 2.0 stable to 16, though at time of writing its website hadn’t yet updated that Cleared List.

Its entry into the select group was the result of the company’s sustained effort to achieve that specific goal. Flightwave called the approval of its drone platform the fruit of several months of work not just demonstrating National Defense Authorization Act compliance of its tech to DIU officials, but also undergoing penetration testing and supply chain analysis Blue UAS 2.0 also involves. 

And while the company habitually produces aerial systems tailored for the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance activities of security, defense, and military clients, the very name of the Edge 130 Blue drone ­ – which weighs just 2.65 lb. and can operate over two hours in forward flight mode – suggests it was designed with making the DIU list a top priority.

“The Edge 130 Blue has the longest flight time of any Blue UAS approved drone and is a superior, long-range, mission-critical tool for the US military and civil agencies,” said Larry Berkin, Flightwave’s chief commercial and operating officer. “Automated defense capabilities will play an increasingly essential role in our defense programs and are vital to the US ability to remain competitive. FlightWave is a leader in this space, developing some of the most advanced technology for drones. We are proud to be able to support DIU and the work they are doing with the Blue UAS Program.”

Qualification for the DIU’s list is considered a boon to drone manufacturers not only because of the business opportunities created by potential DoD selection. It is also widely considered vouching for the data security of selected UAVs in an era when suspicions about leaks run high and have led to the blacklisting of certain companies.

Making the roster also streamlines the process for purchasing and operating drones on the DIU’s list by the DoD and affiliated agencies, dramatically reducing the documentation and approval procedures required for their clearance. 

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