UK launches competition for urban-optimised military drone system

16 September 2020 (Last Updated September 16th, 2020 10:27)

The UK has launched a competition seeking new and emerging technologies that will help in delivering a weaponised urban-optimised drone system.

UK launches competition for urban-optimised military drone system
Ministry of Defence is seeking new ways to assist military drone operators in urban environments in a new funding competition. Credit: ki-kieh / Pixabay.

The UK has launched a competition seeking new and emerging technologies that will help in delivering a weaponised urban-optimised drone system.

The tender was launched by the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) and Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S).

It seeks to identify and leverage innovative solutions that will help military drone operators address various challenges while using unmanned air systems (UAS) for operations in urban environments.

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) aims to overcome three challenges with the initiative.

The first challenge involves developing an optimised UAS for urban environments, while the second encompasses developing a human-controlled lethal payload that can integrate with the urban-optimised UAS.

The third challenge involves demonstrating a full UAS with an integrated payload, including separate elements of the first two challenges.

In a statement, the UK MoD said: “We are looking for ideas that reduce the mental strain on operators and to improve performance, but solutions must ensure that they remain under full human control at all times.”

It is expected that the new capabilities will help military forces to stop using service personnel and military dogs in dangerous urban warfare situations minimising risks to life.

This competition will run using a framework agreement. Interested applicants are required to complete the compulsory Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) and Cyber Risk Assessment by 15 October to be considered for inclusion on the framework.

The government has also allocated up to £900,000 for successful proposals.

Last month, DASA launched another competition seeking advanced technological solutions for enhanced detection of explosives, weapons and illicit drugs.