The US Department of Defense has chosen Parrot to take part in the development of the next-generation of short range reconnaissance drones for the US Army.
The US Army Program Executive Officer (PEO) for aviation’s project manager, unmanned aircraft systems, partnered with the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence to identify and prototype new drone capabilities with commercial companies that specialise in on-demand, ‘eye in the sky’ technologies.
As part of the process, the U.S. Army is partnering with the Pentagon’s internal startup accelerator to adapt small commercial drones for the battlefield.
Parrot is one of six companies that have met the standards set in the solicitation issued in November 2018 to develop and prototype the next generation of small-unit surveillance drone.
The Short Range Reconnaissance (SRR) effort has recently awarded $11m in funding to six companies to prototype and evaluate drones that can provide the soldier on the ground with a rapidly deployable scouting capability to gain situational awareness beyond the next terrain feature.
The drones would be expected to fly for 30 minutes straight at a range of up to three kilometres, according to the original solicitation.
Officials also specified the aircraft should weigh three pounds or less, take less than two minutes to assemble and fit inside a soldier’s standard-issue rucksack.
Henri Seydoux, founder and CEO of Parrot, commented: “Parrot is proud to have been selected by the Army to work on this highly strategic project. The United States has always been a major market for the Parrot Group whether it is for our well-known consumer range or our advanced professional offering.”
He added: “We have always been at the forefront creating advanced, easy-to-use, compact and reliable drone-based solutions. We also perfectly understand how small unmanned aircraft, such as the Parrot ANAFI platform, has the potential to become a key part of the defense system. We look forward to focusing our advanced R&D on meeting the high standards set by the U.S. Army, to integrate drone efficiency in their day to day operations and support the world leading army defense system”.