Army Selects Skydio X2D for Soldier-Portable Short-Range Reconnaisance

Skydio X2D

The U.S. Army selected Skydio’s X2D as a short-range reconnaissance (SRR) system to complete remaining integration and documentation requirements with the ultimate goal of equipping soldiers with a rapidly deployable small UAS solution for reconnaissance and surveillance (R&S) activities. The SSR system is a person-portable, platoon-level, small quadcopter unmanned aircraft to provide enhanced situational awareness.

After initially evaluating six SRR prototypes followed by a competitive downselect to two, the Army Test and Evaluation Command chose Skydio for final integration. The Command will evaluate Skydio’s final prototype in early April and if that evaluation is successful, Skydio will be authorized to begin production for the first tranche of systems to fulfill a third of the Army’s SSR requirement.

Further competitive prototype evaluations will get underway later in 2021 for the balance of the supply. All drones available must be assembled in two minutes or less, have an operational range greather than 3 kilometers, flight endurance greater than 30 minutes and ability to fly through dust, rain and other degraded environments.

Skydio’s X2D, designed for reconnaissance, search and rescue, and security patrol missions, pairs Skydio AutonomyAI-driven flight autonomy software with a foldable, highly portable airframe of hyper-strength composites to withstand demanding environments. X2 features a dual 12MP color optical plus 320×256 FLIR thermal sensor, and is equipped with GPS-based night flight and strobe lighting, making it ready for both day and night operations. It provides up to 35 min of flight time on a single battery.

“Drones are powerful situational awareness tools for organic unit-level ISR, but legacy manual solutions are difficult to fly and easy to crash,” said Chuck McGraw, Skydio Director of Federal Sales. “With its AI-powered autonomy, Skydio X2D represents the next step in the evolution of small unmanned aircraft systems for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) to reduce cognitive overload by unlocking the simplest and most effective flight experience.”

Founded in 2014, Skydio is headquartered in Redwood City, CA.