news | 20 January 2023

UPDATE to the Blue UAS 2.0 Cleared List: Access to Broader Variety of Capable Unmanned Aerial Systems Now Available

blue 2.0

UPDATED January 19, 2023 (Mountain View, CA)—The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition & Sustainment (OUSD(A&S)) are unveiling the first companies that have passed the vetting required for onboarding policy-compliant, commercial small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) into the Department of Defense (DoD).

The drones added to the DIU “Blue UAS Cleared List” as part of the Blue sUAS 2.0 project are:

Systems added to this list do not require a DoD exception to policy to procure or operate as they have undergone a cyber-security evaluation, an NDAA compliance check, and were issued the necessary administrative documentation. Federal government partners can also leverage this onboarding process for their programmatic needs without duplicating efforts.

In October 2021, DIU issued 11 agreements with non-traditional vendors to participate in this pilot program to prototype a new approval process while significantly increasing the variety of capabilities available to all branches of the U.S. military. This expansion will provide additional sUAS capabilities requested by the DoD and its federal partners, including infrastructure inspection, mapping, carrying secondary payloads, and more traditional reconnaissance tasks. 

“The Blue UAS Cleared List provides warfighters with a wide variety of systems that can help them better accomplish their missions. Most users in the DoD don't have access to the resources needed to employ commercial drones, so we are proud to have prototyped a process that helps make sUAS more accessible," said David Michelson, DIU program manager for Blue UAS. "The war in Ukraine highlights just how impactful sUAS can be, so we hope that this effort allows more and more organizations in the DoD to adopt and employ drones."

DIU’s initial Blue sUAS project, now referred to as “1.0,” was announced in August 2020. Blue sUAS 1.0 made minor modifications to the Army’s final five Short Range Reconnaissance candidate air vehicles. The effort integrated commercially-based ground control stations to create an initial standalone commercial/enterprise configuration available to all of DoD as well as other U.S. government entities. Skydio, Flightwave, Harris Aerial, Easy Aerial, Inspired Flight, BlueHalo, WingtraOne, Ascent Aerosystems, SenseFly, Freefly Systems have joined existing Blue sUAS 1.0 cleared systems on a variety of procurement platforms.  

Ongoing updates to the Blue UAS website will provide additional updates on policy, approvals and frequently asked questions for vendors and government use of sUAS.

This marks the closeout of Blue UAS 2.0. Additions to this list may be added in the future. Blue UAS 3.0 is in development and details will be released in the coming months. This page was updated from the October 14, 2022 update and could continue to be updated with additions to the Cleared List.