Marines Seeking Vendors for New Small UAS Contracts
By DANIEL P. TAYLOR, Seapower Special Correspondent
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The Marine Corps is looking to make multiple contract awards for close-range unmanned systems soon, and the service has put out feelers on what’s available in industry, the small UAS program manager told a briefing audience at the Sea-Air-Space Exposition April 4.
Col. Eldon Metzger said that the service is re-competing a new five-year contract for what he termed the “Close Range Multiple Award Contract.” The effort originated in 2003 in Iraq, and evolved over the years to the point where the Marines put a multiple-award contract in place over a five-year period that ultimately was given to three companies.
That five-year period has expired, so the Marines are accepting new proposals. They are looking for a smaller unmanned aerial system (UAS) in the range of about 10 operating hours that can take some of the burden off larger unmanned assets.
“Again, we’re looking at multiple vendors,” Metzger said, noting that winning bids likely would look “very similar to one completed this past February.”
One exception is that the Marines will look to have more access to full-motion video.