The U.S Army Aviation Development Directorate (ADD) — under solicitation W911W6-18-R-0014 — is requesting of industry technical and cost proposals to conduct a science and technology (S&T) effort entitled Conceptual Design and Technology Assessment (CDTA) in support of the Next Generation (NexGen) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Technology Demonstration (TD).

The NexGen UAS TD is an Army S&T effort to develop an acceptable-risk acquisition program intended to supersede legacy UAS.  The objective of the NexGen UAS TD is to identify, mature, and demonstrate capability-enabling air vehicle technologies that overcome key technology barriers, delivering desired advanced UAS (AUAS) performance, survivability, and reliability.  NexGen UAS TD intends to culminate in a demonstration of enabling technologies and flying demonstrators.

The Army notes that it currently lacks ability to conduct long range Reconnaissance and Security Operations in contested airspace and that incremental improvement to current UAS will not achieve overmatch in the current and future operational environments against peer and near-peer threats in a fully‑contested multi-domain battlespace.  It notes, further, that advanced UAS that work in concert with legacy manned, and optionally-manned, advanced platforms (e.g., Future Vertical Lift [FVL]) are necessary to preserve the Army’s asymmetric advantage.

The solicited Phase II CDTA effort will be focused on developing feasible conceptual designs that meet the air vehicle requirements generated from previous (Phase I) Concept Study results.  Specifically, the purpose of the Phase II NexGen UAS TD CDTA is to:

  • Define an Objective Aircraft;
  • Provide size, weight, cost, and performance information;
  • Show promising approaches to meet desired capabilities and attributes;
  • Quantify technology readiness;
  • Establish credible cost, schedule and technical performance parameters;
  • Understand size, weight, cost, and performance sensitivities through limited design excursions; and
  • Identify capability-enabling technologies

Industry-developed concepts will be assessed — including effects of projected technology insertions — to determine critical enabling technologies for development and demonstration in Phase III.

Summary of NexGen UAS Desired Attributes

Parameter Attribute
Speed 205 [Threshold] – 230 [Objective] KTAS
Time-on-Station (ToS) 6 [Threshold] – 8 [Objective] hour
Mission Radius 135 [Threshold] – 229 [Objective] nm
Payload Flight Profile R1: 2 [Threshold] – 4 [Objective]
Joint Air-to-Ground Munition (JAGM)

Flight Profile R2: Electro-Optical/Infrared/Laser Designator

Operating Environment 4k/95°F, All-Weather, Degraded Visual Environments (DVE)
Deployment 1 [Threshold] – 2 [Objective] per sortie
C-130 [Objective] / C-17 [Threshold]
Survivability Peer / Near-peer Contested
Geometric /

Operating Limitations

40 ft X 40 ft [Objective] / 65 ft X 54 ft [Threshold] Maximum Operating Size.

Unassisted take-off and landing, 150 feet x 125 feet field area, 10:1 climb from field center to clear 50 feet obstacle

Downwash/outwash velocity NTE 120 ft/s, all height/azimuth

Phase II program funding is projected at $6-9 million, with multiple ($1.5 million) individual awards to industry anticipated.

Proposals are due from on 9 August 2018.

A SECRET Security clearance is required.