The Australian Defence Force has released a Request for Information (RFI) for the Project LAND 129 Phase 4B requirement for a small uncrewed aerial system (SUAS) for the Australian Army.
The RFI – the release of which was flagged in a release in July – was released on August 25 and closes on September 29. To replace the Wasp in service, the RFI calls for submissions for 60-80 SUAS air vehicles in the 15kg class that are man-portable, have a one hour endurance, and be able to be launched from a kneeling position.
Interestingly, the requirement to be able to operate from a 30m x 30m clearing with 10m obstacles or from a 10m x 10m clearing with 5m obstacles suggests a vertical takeoff and landing SUAS (VTUAS) might be favoured, as a conventional take off and landing system may find this requirement challenging.
Similarly, the requirement to be able to be launched from an F470 zodiac boat favours a VTUAS. This requirement also has interesting implications for elements of SEA 129 Phase 5.
The successful system will likely have a high level of Australian Industry Capability (AIC), especially as the 260 gram Ascent Vision CM62 EO/IR ‘micro gimbal’ with target designator is a favoured payload for the system.
An RFT is expected to be released in early 2022.