Navy seeks UAS training system for Special Forces

The Navy is potentially looking to the private sector for unmanned aircraft system intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance training. In a request for information, the service said it is testing out the field for competitive contracts to fill the gap in required ISR training for Special Operations Forces. 

The Naval Air Systems Command, which issued the solicitation, is looking sensor, voice, and data communication capabilities that replicate those provided by UAS. A system also would have to provide metadata to support training for Defense Department and U.S. Coast Guard pre-deployment and experimentation initiatives.

The request outlined the specifications for the system, which would include two unmanned aerial vehicles and two ground control stations. The UAVs should have wingspan of 21 feet and a length of 17 feet, the ability to carry a payload of 150 pounds, flight endurance of 10 hours, a take-off weight of 700 pounds, and ceiling of 18,000 feet.  Among the sensing payload, the military is requiring contractors provide electro optical and infrared sensors with full motion video and Link 16 network capabilities and Intelligence Analysts Tools. The training system also should be similar to the platforms found in the larger MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft. 

Additional requirements include that high-definition camera payloads are capable of seeking out enemy forces with precision. Contractors must be able to provide management, supervision, personnel, equipment, supplies, materials, fuels, tools and sensors for training. Their aircraft should be capable of acquiring 40 flight hours of metadata from five days of flying eight hours per day.  Contractors should be able to supply two aircraft and two ground control stations.  

The military plans to run scenarios and simulations that will replicate characteristics and environments of combat situations. During these scenarios, contractors must be capable of providing training, oversight and operational capability to Special Operations Force trainees in ISR over watch of naval ships and close air support. 

The response deadline is March 11.

About the Author

Mark Pomerleau is a former editorial fellow with GCN and Defense Systems.

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