The US Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) has awarded a $14 million offensive drone swarm contract to Virginia-based BlueHalo.
The defense & space company will “leverage” its “resources and expertise” to “deliver unmatched Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning swarm logic capabilities, communications systems…within an operationally driven system-of-systems framework.”
The company claims its HIVE small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) architecture will provide a “transformational” swarm capability to the US Army, improving its “mission efficiency, sensor performance,” and a reduced “cognitive workload” on warfighters.
Swarm Demo in Fall
The US Army has been developing a host of swarm drone capabilities, including counter-sUAS.
Project Convergence 2022 will include an “offensive unmanned aircraft systems swarm capability” demonstration in the fall as part of this, Defense News reported, citing RCCTO deputy director Stan Darbro.
RCCTO began developing a prototype for a demonstration last March and intends to keep it low-cost, the outlet added. The capability is intended to identify and engage with threats through a single operator.
The project began in 2020 as a “campaign of learning” to further integrate the army with the other elements of the Joint Force — the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, Space Force, and Special Operations Forces.
To achieve that integration, the project will connect their weapons and systems into a single network. Project exercises are held annually at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona.