The Defense Innovation Unit founded the Blue sUAS program to vet small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) for the Department of Defense and Federal Government. Built upon the current Short Range Reconnaissance (SRR) Program under the U.S. Army, the Blue sUAS program provides trusted sUAS options for DoD and Federal Government procurement, ensuring the aircrafts meet FY2020 NDAA Section 848 requirements and meet certain performance criteria. The DIU initially approved 5 vehicles in 2020 to be listed as the only federally vetted and approved systems available for procurement. The Blue sUAS 2.0 program is now evaluating an additional 11 vehicles to join that list. The Blue sUAS project does not preclude members of the government from purchasing other aircraft that are compliant and have necessary certifications, but it has created a simple and secure procurement system through either Production-Other Transaction Agreements or the GSA Schedule.
Along with the Blue sUAS project, the DIU has built the Blue UAS Framework Program, which aims to partner with suppliers in the industry to deliver sUAS components for their highly capable Blue sUAS program. The Framework hopes to achieve greater levels of fielded autonomy while using sustainable and trusted components in the industry. IQ is aiming to be a vetted supplier of motors and ESCs to further the DIU’s initiative.