The U.S. Coast Guard released a draft solicitation for long range/ultra-long endurance (LR/U-LE) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) technology demonstration and flight services requirements, on March 26, 2018.
The Coast Guard said in a statement that the industry is invited to submit questions, comments and feedback on draft items including the statement of work, proposal requirements and evaluation methodology.
The draft solicitation is available here. Responses are due by April 9 at 5 p.m. EST. The formal solicitation for the contract is planned for release later this spring.
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has been tasked by the U.S. Congress to examine the feasibility, costs, and benefits of conducting Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions in transit zones using Long Range/Ultra-Long Endurance (LR/U-LE), land based, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).
Congress also requested that the Coast Guard perform an Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) on available systems and mission equipment packages before conducting a proof of concept demonstration of selected systems in collaboration with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T).
This tasking aligns well with the current operational experience of both the Coast Guard and CBP, gained through the development of their current land based UAS program, and seeks to expand the current body of knowledge to include ultra-long endurance capabilities.
The scope of the Statement of Work (SOW) of the released draft solicitation includes the preparation, inspection, transport, ground and flight demonstration, operation, and removal of a LR/U-LE UAS at a Government flight facility for the purpose of generating data that examines the operational utility of LR/U-LE UAS for conducting ISR missions in transit zones.
The LR/U-LE UAS will have to be equipped with Electro-optical (EO) and Infrared (IR) Full Motion Video (FMV) payload, Maritime Surveillance Radar, Radio Frequency/Direction Finding (RF/DF) sensor and tactical communications radio/data link.
The UAS should have a minimum patrol airspeed of 50 Knots True Airspeed (KTAS), service ceiling of 15,000 Feet above Mean Sea Level (MSL) and an endurance of 24 hours.