The U.S. Marine Corps, through the Naval Air Systems Command’s Navy and Marine Corps Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program Office (PMA-263) released a Request for Information (RFI) calling for industry to submit information by 6 April 2020.

  1. Introduction
    This Request for Information (RFI) is in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation Part 15.2 and is published only to obtain information for use by Program Executive Officer, Strike Weapons and Unmanned Aviation (PEO (U/W)), Navy and Marine Corps Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program Office (PMA-263), Patuxent River, Maryland.
    This RFI does not constitute an invitation for bids, a request for proposal, a solicitation, a request for quote or an indication that the Government will contract for the items provided by responder. The Government will not reimburse responders for any costs associated with the preparation or submission of the information requested. Response to this RFI is strictly voluntary and will not affect any potential Offerors ability to submit an offer if a solicitation is released. The Government will disregard any requests for a solicitation package.
    The Government does not intend to award a contract on the basis of this RFI or otherwise pay for the information requested. The Government will not return submittals to the responders. The Government may request that responders provide additional information/details based on their initial submittals.
  2. Objective
    PEO (U/W), PMA-263 is seeking industry input to identify potential solutions for a MR/ME UAS for use by the United States Marine Corps, capable of providing Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition during day and night operations in all environmental conditions. The system should be rugged and ready to use as delivered with minimal logistic, training and support requirements. The system should provide real-time full motion video via electro-optical and/or infrared sensors. The Air Vehicles (AV) should be capable of autonomous or a safe manual launch with a minimum of support equipment from a small confined area, and should be capable of either a manual or an autonomous recovery within the same area as launch. The recovery method should be adequate to prevent system damage and allow for short turn-around times between missions. The ground control station (GCS) should be man-portable and consist of the necessary equipment to monitor the sensor(s) position and status, control its movement and view its video.
    PEO (U/W), PMA-263 is specifically interested in systems with the following characteristics:
    Short Field Takeoff & Landing and/or Vertical Takeoff and Landing
    Battery Powered
    Lightweight, easily portable, takeoff weight <20 lbs.
    One-man set-up
    Modular multiple mission payload capability
    Minimum range of 10 kilometers
    Minimum endurance 2-hours
    Time to set-up & launch: 10 min (Battery)
    Gimbaled w/ high resolution day/night imagery
    All weather/all environment capability (ability to operate continuously in rain, wind, dust, hot and cold temperatures)
    Adequate maturity to be fielded immediately
    NDAA 2020 Section 848 compliant
    S.2502 – American Security Drone Act of 2019 compliant
  3. Requested Information. The responder is requested to provide detailed information in response to the following:
    Identify the following technical attributes of the potential solution. If a specific attribute is estimated or unknown, so state:
    System Characteristics
    Total system weight (AV with payload and GCS)
    Size and weight of total system packed for transport
    AV weight without payload
    AV dimensions (assembled)
    GCS dimensions and weight (assembled)
    Power source(s)
    Set up time (time required to go from packed to system airborne)
    Total available payload weight
    Sensor type
    Sensor detection/identification performance (National Image Interpretability Rating preferred)
    Temperature limits
    Precipitation limits
    Wind limits
    Water immersion limits
    Performance Limits
    Altitude limits (above ground and pressure altitude)
    Maximum range (maximum range at which the system can operate assuming no line of sight obstructions)
    Maximum endurance (maximum time the AV can remain airborne under standard day at sea level conditions)
    Maximum speed of the AV
    Optimal cruise speed
    Noise signature
    Provide detailed information in response to the questions listed below. Please answer them in the order in which they are asked:
    What is the software operating system?
    How does the system navigate?
    Is the system capable of navigation without Ground Positioning System (GPS)?
    Does the system use Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module GPS?
    What are the different types of flight modes and mission control characteristics used by the system? (Manual, autonomous, waypoints, loiters, hover and stare, etc.)
    Does the system have a precision recovery capability?
    Is there any recovery equipment required? If so, please provide a description.
    What safety features (i.e. lost link, lost GPS) are built into the system?
    Is your product NDAA 2020 Section 848 and S.2502 – American Security Drone Act of 2019 compliant? If no, what steps are being taken to ensure compliance?
    Is the AV water recoverable?
    What mapping software does the system use (google maps, Falcon View, open source, etc.) and does it have Digital Terrain Elevation Data? Does the system use standard Department of Defense mapping and imagery?
    How does the GCS communicate with the AV? Describe the data link used including waveform, operational frequency band, analog or digital, and encryption capabilities.
    Is the system capable of simultaneous AV operations from a single GCS?
    How and where is the data (video, pictures, and flight logs) stored?
    Are you willing to release full Interface Control Document for avionics, payload and battery interfaces?
    What payloads are currently available, in development, and planned?
    What other unique capabilities are available with the system that may enhance mission performance?
    How are batteries recharged and how much time is required to return to full charge following a maximum endurance flight?
    Do the batteries have a certification, i.e. NOSSA, UL?
    What is your experience with developing Small Unmanned Aircraft System products?
    How many units have been sold/fielded to date? If able, please identify user of the identified solution.
    What is the production lead-time, including any production/delivery constraints based on single order quantities ranging from 1-100 systems?
    What is the maximum production output (systems/month) at this time?
    Are you able to provide logistical support with spare parts and repairs of damaged parts?
    Are you able to provide Field Service Representative support sufficient to sustain systems in deployed or remote areas within the United States or harsh/hostile environments overseas?
    How many people are required to operate the system?
    What is the anticipated training time for operator certification?
    Describe the assembly required to ready the AV for operation from its field packed state. Field packed system is defined as having all the required equipment to accomplish a mission and be in a state safe for transportation.
    What is the estimated unit cost per full system?
    Is this product available commercially?
    Please provide your cage code and business size under NAICS Code. If you are a small business per the parameters of NAICS Code, do you also qualify under any of the sub-categories: 8(a), Small Disadvantaged Business, HUB Zone, etc.?
    Are you a foreign-owned, foreign-controlled, or a foreign-influenced company?
    Did you receive funding to develop your system from any governmental agencies?
    Please provide operators manual and maintenance manual if available.
  4. Responses
    All interested, capable, and responsible sources that wish to respond to this RFI, please respond with a white paper via electronic mail no later than 45 days after release date on beta SAM. Please limit responses to no more than 20 pages, 12-point font, not including preprinted information material.
  5. Questions
    If you have any specific questions (relating to the above referenced information only), please submit them in written format to the Contract Specialist listed.