The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is seeking small unmanned aerial systems (SUAS) to expand its operational capability. The scope of this project is to prototype a persistent, ultra-long range, beyond line of sight (BLOS) capable, electric fixed-wing, fully autonomous, Group-1 small unmanned aerial system (SUAS) that has a low-acoustic signature, ability to operate in harsh environmental conditions, can perform dynamic soaring, and can maintain 24-hours airborne. Experiments for this swarming capability will be developed and tested iteratively with Marine Corps Operational Test & Evaluation Squadron (VMX-1).

The Scope of Work is here — — and includes the following technical/performance requirements:

  • The Contractor shall provide a SUAS that is hand launchable with the ability to launch in <10 minutes and recover with minimal (field repairable) to no damage.
  • The Contractor shall provide a SUAS that is capable of autonomous operation in congested airspaces, continuous operation in highly contested electronic warfare and GPS denied environments.
  • The Contractor shall provide a SUAS capable of supporting multi-vehicle swarming with simultaneous user control of at least three air vehicles.
  • The Contractor shall provide a SUAS capable of operating with simple real-time operator interfaces for one or more aerial vehicle, requiring no more than a two-man team to operate.
  • The Contractor shall provide a SUAS capable of dash (100 mph) to a target.
  • The Contractor shall provide a SUAS that is capable of autonomously following troops on the move, providing them with real-time aerial support.
  • The Contractor shall provide a SUAS capable of anti-spoofing and anti-jamming that meet or exceed U.S. Department of Defense security standards.
  • The Contractor shall provide a SUAS capable of 24-hour continuous flight from hand launch.
  • The Contractor shall provide a SUAS capable of providing modular payloads.

U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Chemical Biological Center, Rock Island, IL, on behalf of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy via its Manufacturing Resiliency and Assurance Office, and Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment Program (10 U.S.C. § 2508), in conjunction with Army Contracting Command – Rock Island (ACC-RI), manages the Cornerstone Other Transaction Agreement (OTA), in accordance with 10 U.S.C. § 2371b. Cornerstone was created to “Assess and Strengthen the Manufacturing Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States.”

ACC-RI, on behalf of CCDC Chemical Biological Center, intends to issue a competitive Cornerstone Initiative Request (CIR) for Extended Endurance Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS), on or after April 5, 2019, with an estimated closing date of 10 business days after issuance. The CIR for Extended Endurance SUAS is restricted to Cornerstone consortium members who have an active registration with the Joint Certification Program.

The CIR will solicit enhanced whitepapers for one (1) fixed amount OTA with incremental payments made upon completion of specific milestones. Period of performance will be 12 months. If the prototype is successful, the intent is to award a follow-on production contract.

This project is seeking to develop a persistent ultra-long range Beyond Line of Sight capable electric fixed-wing fully autonomous Group-1 UAS that can operate in harsh environmental conditions with a low-acoustic signature coupled with an endurance capability up to 24-hours airborne.

The CIR for Extended Endurance SUAS will be communicated to the Cornerstone consortium and companies with pending applications via email. Entities are required to have begun the membership process for their proposal to be reviewed. Entities must be members of the Cornerstone consortium, with a signed Cornerstone Consortium Management Agreement, to be awarded this OTA task. Contractors may obtain Cornerstone registration information by visiting the Cornerstone website:

Interested parties should stay alert for any changes that may be published to this FBO posting. Please email all questions and responses to the following mailbox:

This Special Notice is for planning purposes only and does not constitute a CIR or an obligation on behalf of the U.S. Government. Issuance of this Special Notice is not a guarantee of a future CIR or an award and is not a commitment of any kind by the Government.