The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) under its Mobile Force Protection (MFP) program to provide inputs on sensing and neutralization technologies to defend U.S. forces against quickly evolving unmanned airborne threats.
The MFP program seeks small unmanned air system (sUAS) technologies for real-time protection of ground and maritime convoys by advancing technology to quickly neutralize hostile threats. And with this RFI, DARPA is looking for innovative technology components that could be combined with the MFP systems integrators’ fielded concepts, the press release states.
DARPA expects to perform a field demonstration planned for January 2018.
“Keeping warfighters safe from small unmanned air systems requires knowing that one or more is coming and removing their potential as a threat while they’re still at a safe distance,” said Jean-Charles Ledé, a program manager in DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office (TTO). “This RFI aims to help DARPA stay abreast of the latest technologies that could provide those capabilities, and integrate some of the most promising ones into an eventual MFP technology demonstration system”.
The developer will have to provide the sensing ability to detect numerous sUAS at a distance of 1 km or greater, have a small footprint compatible with tactical ground vehicles such as the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV or Humvee) and the U.S. Coast Guard’s Defender-class 25-foot boat, and support highly automated operations; and neutralization ability to ensure low collateral damage and low cost per engagement.
The deadline to submit the short white papers describing the technology is October 2, 2017.