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U.S. Army Looks for “Counter UAS Interceptor”

U.S. Army representatives are conducting a market survey for interceptor concepts capable of defeating hostile unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., has released a request for information (RFI) from industry on a potential “Counter UAS Interceptor.”

According to the RFI, service representatives desire “to obtain information on an affordable Counter Unmanned Aerial System (CUAS) Interceptor that provides protection against a primary threat set of tactical UAS, a secondary threat set of Cruise Missiles (CMs) and/or Rockets, Artillery, Mortars (RAM).”

The interceptor, which “should be capable of integrating with the current DoD Joint Force Structure with little or no modification to current assets,” should be capable of “defeating the most likely UAS threat in all types of weather” with the intercept taking place “at ranges sufficient to prevent UAS surveillance of protected assets.”

Key goals for the CUAS interceptor are identified as “affordability and timely delivery of the system to the Warfighter.”

Affordability is described as “an interceptor with a desired production price of less than $100,000 (FY11 dollars) with a not to exceed price of $150,000. For missile solution options, a procurement rate of 1,000 missiles per year may be assumed; total initial procurement would be 10,000 missiles. Average Unit Production Cost should be considered the primary driver. All other options (i.e., directed energy, unmanned aerial vehicle hunter-killer, etc) are encouraged and will be considered.”

Timely delivery is identified as the ability to “field demonstrate capability in its final tactical configuration within 24 months from program initiation.”

“It is intended that fielding of the capability begin within 24 months from initial contract award,” the RFI adds. “Multiple contracts may be issued for a competitive system level demonstration of capabilities. Multiple Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) may be employed by potential offerors such as interceptor subsystem components, Improved SENTINEL radar, launcher platform, etc.”

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Scott Gourley is a former U.S. Army officer and the author of more than 1,500...

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-155616">
    Ramon Llanos

    Any outcome from this RFI?

    li class="comment byuser comment-author-chuck-oldham odd alt thread-odd thread-alt depth-1" id="comment-155998">

    We don’t know of any specific vendors yet, but those who submitted the best responses were supposed to be invited to the Fires Center of Excellence for a Counter UAS Defense Coordination Meeting the first week of December 2012, where there were supposed to be follow-up discussions on technologies.