The Department of Defence has issued an Invitation to Register Interest (ITR) for the provision of Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (SUAS). These systems will be provided to Army Battlegroups, Special Forces, and Regional Force Surveillance Units allowing them to develop an organic airborne surveillance and reconnaissance capability. In this procurement, Army is seeking to purchase up to 17 SUAS during FY19/20, with Final Operating Capability expected in Q1 2020.
This procurement will be run as a two stage process commencing with the ITR from which a group of suppliers will be shortlisted to submit a Request for Tender. Government Departments will use this two stage process to assess the range of capability in the market and to minimise the final RFT review time. For potential suppliers, this process allows additional time to explore licensing requirements and establish subcontractors, as well as limiting tender preparation overheads to only those who really stand a chance of winning.
In terms of technical requirements, the SUAS is required to be able to covertly view areas of interest at least 20 km away, with at least an hour of endurance on-station, by day and night. The systems will be carried by dismounted patrols as well as various land vehicles and air transports and needs to be capable of operating from, and recovering to, a small watercraft.
The successful Contractor will be required to deliver both the physical SUAS+ systems, associated items, and supporting services, along with initial operator training, for an expected life of type of six years.The ITR is due 4 Jun 19 with an industry brief being held on 20 May 19. It is anticipated the RFT will be released early July with final contract signature early 2020.