The UK Ministry of Defence issued a contract notification last month, with an estimated value of between £10 million ($16.4 million) and £20 million, for a Nano UAS to be deployed urgently in Afghanistan.
- Total weight of no more than 200g (7oz)
- Equipment should weigh less than 1.7kg (3.7lb)
- Battery power
- Capable of at least one single flight of at least 20 min endurance- 40 mins is desirable
- Able to fly at least 0.5nm (1km) away from its operators and at an altitude of 985ft (300m) above the ground
- Low visible/acoustic signature
- Use way-point navigation
- Operated by a non-specialist operator after a maximum of two days of system-specific training
- Be ready for deployment within 2-5min
- Payload requirement – sensor capable of allowing “users to see motion imagery sufficient to distinguish friendly force personnel from others in daylight conditions”
- An ability to detect personnel at night is also required
Deadline for expressions of interest is March 25th. A formal invitation to tender will be released in June for responses in August. Contract award date is expected to be September 15th.
The chosen design should be “mature and robust”, with delivery possible during the first quarter of 2012, or preferably from late 2011. The supplier will also have to provide support and maintenance services.