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Armed unmanned aircraft a threat to US military in near future

A Navy X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration aircraft takes off and flies for the first time Feb. 4, 2011, at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
A Navy X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration aircraft takes off and flies for the first time Feb. 4, 2011, at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
U.S. Air Force

U.S. forces will be increasingly threatened by reconnaissance and armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in the near future, the U.S. Army said in contract documents released Thursday.

The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) is currently conducting market research for the development of a Counter UAV. The AMRDEC announced the research in a Request For Information (RFI) document released Thursday.

“AMRDEC is interested in obtaining U.S. domestic sources of information to serve as a market survey to aid in programmatic planning for advanced technology development and demonstration for an affordable Counter Unmanned Aerial System (CUAS),” the Army said in the RFI. “The objective of this process is to assess current capabilities within the U.S. defense industrial base, particularly as they relate to CUAS capability.”

The threat of armed UAVs can be employed against all echelons of U.S. forces, the Army said. “These threats do or may employ a variety of sensors and operate at a variety of tactical levels. These levels include micro sized to large UAVs and operate with varying altitude and speed. All levels of detection, decision, and defeat should be considered when developing and proposing a capability.”

Companies interested in responding to AMRDEC's RFI should submit a white paper by April 1. Following the RFI, a two-day workshop on the CUAS will be conducted April 30 through 1 May. The first day will consist of briefings by some of the various government participants and will focus on the need and current relevant activities related to CUAS capability. The second day will consist of presentations to the government by invited responders. The government's presentation on April 30 will be at the secret classified level and conducted in the Bob Jones Auditorium at the Sparkman Center, Redstone Arsenal, Ala.

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