US Air Force issues RFI for next-generation ISR/strike, medium-altitude UAV

The US Air Force (USAF) on 3 June issued a request for information (RFI) from industry about next-generation intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR)/strike, medium-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

The USAF is also interested in a potential follow-on programme to the General Atomics-Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) MQ-9 Reaper medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAV. The air force is interested in researching alternative ways to support future lower-end, lower-cost ISR missions, which may include initiatives to modernise, augment, and/or replace existing systems, according to a notice posted on the beta.sam.gov federal contracting website.

A GA-ASI MQ-9 Reaper sits on the flight line at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, on 17 December 2019. The USAF issued a request for information on a next-generation ISR/strike medium-altitude UAV and possibly an MQ-9 follow-on programme.

A GA-ASI MQ-9 Reaper sits on the flight line at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, on 17 December 2019. The USAF issued a request for information on a next-generation ISR/strike medium-altitude UAV and possibly an MQ-9 follow-on programme.

The RFI emphasises unique and innovative practices that can deliver relevant capability efficiently, timely, and at a reduced lifecycle cost. The USAF wants solutions that support principles of the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS), which primarily includes, but is not limited to: autonomy, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, digital engineering, open mission systems, and attritable technology, among others.

The acquisition strategy has not been determined. RFI responses will help the USAF determine the acquisition path with an emphasis on maximising multiple competitions to include the air vehicle; automated ISR sensors and data exploitation; and ground controls stations (GCS), systems, and suites. The service wants all these to adhere to open architecture (OA) principles with an emphasis on welcoming innovative solutions from small businesses.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/28d0dfb3-6af3-4721-9f27-40bc2ccbfe63

The US Air Force (USAF) on 3 June issued a request for information (RFI) from industry about next-ge...

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