Thursday, July 6, 2023

U.S. drone purchase deal between State Department and Tajikistan

The U.S. Department of State is in the market to purchase ten small unmanned aerial surveillance (UAS) drones for border security and law enforcement agencies within the government of Tajikistan.

The request for the drones was announced in a Combined Synopsis/Solicitation contract document released on Monday.

The government of Tajikistan will use the drones to build capacity in securing its borders, enforcing its laws, and interdicting illicit drugs and arms transiting the region, the State Department said in the document.

“These small unit UAS systems will be used by the Tajik Border Force for aerial reconnaissance and situational awareness in the vicinity of border posts/outposts situated along the Tajik-Afghan border,” the State Department said. The drones will be a donation from the State Department’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs to the Tajik Border Force (TBF).

The Skydio X2D Color/Thermal (multi-band) UAS has been previously purchased by the Department of State for donation to the Tajik Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA/OMON) for use on the Afghan border. “As such, interoperability between MIA/OMON and TBF is an important factor and a cost-saving benefit when training personnel,” State Department officials said in the document.

“The Skydio X2D Color/Thermal (multi-band) short-range reconnaissance drone has unique properties in that it is NDAA compliant, ‘made in America’ UAS with encrypted data security, multi-band technology and capabilities, and unmatched autonomy through the use of six 4K navigation cameras,” officials added. “The ability to toggle between frequencies allows for secure communication without interference.”

Results of market research by the State Department identified the Skydio X2D Color/Thermal UAS Drone as the only U.S. brand name known to the purchaser that fully satisfies the end user's requirements, the State Department said.

“The government will entertain other ‘Made in America’ options that are NDAA compliant,” officials said. “Other systems with competitive features include the Autel Robotics EVO II Dual 640T Drone and the DJI Mavic 3T Thermal Enterprise Drone, however, both are non-U.S. companies, non-NDAA compliant, and made in China.”

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