Teledyne FLIR Defense has received a contract to expand the capabilities of the R80D SkyRaider uncrewed aerial system (UAS) in support of the US Army’s missions.
The contract has been awarded by the US Department of Defense (DoD) and is valued at approximately $13.3m.
Under this contract, the company will work to integrate new flight control software with the R80D platform, allowing the forces to autonomously operate the UAS for conducting chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) reconnaissance missions.
This will eliminate the risk of exposing soldiers to toxic substances, unlike traditional scenarios that required soldiers to hand-carry detection sensors, resulting in direct exposure to the hazardous region.
Work also includes the design and development of chemical and radiological sensor payload prototypes for the R80D platform, along with the integration of detectors available in the US Army’s stocks.
Initially, the company will deliver four SkyRaiders UAS, along with six of each sensor payloads. The award comes with an option to provide additional UAS and payloads.
Teledyne FLIR will also deliver the associated documentation and training support.
Deliveries are expected to commence in summer later this year. The overall performance period of this award is 33 months, including the additional options.
Once delivered, both autonomous SkyRaider and sensor payloads will be configured to operate with the command-and-control user interface for the army’s Stryker nuclear, biological, and chemical reconnaissance vehicle.
Teledyne FLIR Defense technology and product management vice-president Dr David Cullin said: “We will continue our customers’ important work to enhance situational awareness for mounted/dismounted operations, enabling greater manoeuvrability on future CBRN-contested battlefields.”
The latest effort involves a contribution from the Joint Programme Executive Office for CBRN Defence, the Joint Product Manager for Reconnaissance and Platform Integration, and the CBRN Sensor Integration on Robotics Platforms Programme Office.