French drone manufacturer Parrot announced that it has passed another milestone in the U.S. Army’s Short Range Reconnaissance drone program.
Parrot will manufacture its next generation of small-unit surveillance drone prototypes for the U.S. Department of Defense. The U.S. Army has selected a total of six companies, including Parrot, for the SSR project and awarded them $11m in funding to prototype and evaluate drones.
The service intends to adapt small commercial drones for the battlefield.
As the final steps of this selection process, Parrot will participate in an operational assessment to support an Army production award decision. In anticipation of an increased demand signal from the Department of Defense, Parrot will start manufacturing prototypes of its dedicated drone in the United States of America.
The mature prototype presented by Parrot, designed with carefully selected components, has now been approved for initial manufacturing. To support Parrot’s commitment to U.S. industry capabilities, Parrot is currently finalizing its U.S. production chain with its partner NEOTech to build its final prototype batch for delivery to the U.S. Army and the Defense Innovation Unit in July 2020. The final prototype assembly includes the installation at NEOTech facility of all software developed by Parrot in Paris (France) ensuring high IP protection with no data dissemination. NeoTech and Parrot are also partnering to achieve the highest quality standard in the industry, to meet the U.S. Army requirements.
“Parrot is honored to work with the DoD on this highly strategic project,” said Laurent Rouchon, VP Security & Defense at Parrot. “We have successfully met the high standards set over the last 12 months on the prototype efforts and we look forward to entering this final phase and launching production in the USA.”
In April 2019, the U.S. Army and the Defense Innovation Unit selected Parrot and 5 additional commercial drone manufacturers to develop Short Range Reconnaissance prototype drones for military use. As a result of the award, Parrot developed a prototype of the drone between May and November of 2019. Parrot focused the company’s Paris based research and development efforts toward engineering a drone dedicated to the U.S. Army specifications. A prototype unit was finalized in November 2019, and the initial testing phase continued through January 2020. The initial positive results have encouraged Parrot to begin exploring the industrialization phase in early 2020.