USCG preps for UAS integration
The US Coast Guard is moving toward the release of a request for proposal for a small UAS capability for its National Security Cutters (NSCs), with a number of training and concept of operations development projects underway.
As part of work to stay informed on the state of the UAS market, acquisition personnel have attended operational training with Insitu to achieve the certification required to operate the ScanEagle UAS.
The coast guard will use a contractor-owned and -operated ScanEagle UAS this winter to test integration and a concept of operations for UAS on USCGC Stratton based in Alameda, California. The service will use the deployment data to refine requirements for installing and integrating future systems across the NSC class.
The training course will also help the acquisition programme to more effectively analyse and assess potential UAS for NSC solutions.
The course included training to perform launch, recovery and minor maintenance. A ten day mission coordinator course was also carried out by Stratton crew to better understand capabilities, limitations and standard operation of the ScanEagle and the command, control and coordination functions to smoothly integrate operations.
The Coast guard plans to release a request for proposal for small UAS for NSC capability by the end of 2017, with contract award for the retrofit of Stratton and one additional NSC targeted for 2018.
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