The US Coast Guard on February 7 released a request for proposal for the procurement of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) for its national security cutters (NSCs).
The US Coast Guard is looking to buy commercially available intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems for the NSC fleet that can remain airborne for about 12 continuous hours per flight.
The sUAS will conduct surveillance, detection, classification and identification operations in addition to supporting prosecution by providing real-time imagery, data, target illumination, communications relay and other capabilities to the NSC and other government platforms as needed.
The contract has a base period of one year, with seven yearly option periods.
Responses are due March 9, 2018, at 1 p.m. Eastern time. The RFP is available here.
Prior to issuing the RFP, the US Coast Guard deployed Insitu’s ScanEagle on Coast Guard Cutter Stratton – an NSC based in Alameda, California – three times in 2017 and used the data gathered to refine the concept of operations and RFP requirements.
“The Coast Guard aviation acquisition team has spent the last three years conducting market research, planning and analysis,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Sullens, deputy sUAS for NSC program manager. “This resulting request for industry proposals is a milestone event, as it marks the start of the Coast Guard’s operational employment of unmanned assets.”
The Coast Guard plans to award a contract later this year that will include the installation of sUAS capability on two NSCs and options to outfit the rest of the NSC fleet in future years.