Coast Guard wants small unmanned aircraft for national security cutters

The U.S. Coast Guard intends to release a request for proposals for small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for national security cutters and other Coast Guard vessels.

The U.S. Coast Guard intends to release a request for proposals for small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for national security cutters and other Coast Guard vessels. The future Coast Guard UAV award, for which requirements are not yet finalized, will be worth no more than $300 million. The Coast Guard wants economically priced UAVs able to remain airborne for at least 12 hours a day. The drone should have the size, weight, and power to operate an electro-optical infrared sensor, aeronautical transponder, VHF/UHF communications relay, and a non-visible infrared marker. The service wants a UAV capable of swapping out those payloads with others, including government-provided systems, in less than a couple of hours.

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