Skydio announced that the new Skydio X2D has been selected as a trusted drone platform for the Department of Defense and Federal Government as part of DIU’s Blue sUAS Project. This is a major milestone in the company’s strategy to bring its autonomy engine to public sector customers. Skydio is also announcing the addition of new executive leadership and strategic partnership with ADS, Inc.
DIU’s effort builds upon the U.S. Army’s small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) program of record, the Short Range Reconnaissance (SRR), for an inexpensive, rucksack portable, vertical take-off and landing sUAS. Skydio was selected as one of five Blue sUAS vendors out of dozens of applicants.
“It’s an honor to be selected as one of the few commercial companies asked to develop this technology in service to our country,” said Adam Bry, Skydio CEO. “As concerns around trust and security have grown, Skydio is proud to provide an American drone with the world’s most advanced autonomy technology and the highest standards of cyber and supply chain security. As the only U.S drone company manufacturing at scale, and the only company with a strong commercial and consumer foundation, we are uniquely well-suited to serve the needs of the nation’s warfighters.”
Skydio X2D, announced in July, meets the specifications outlined by DIU for a lightweight, short-range reconnaissance drone and is the only fully autonomous drone in the Blue sUAS group. Skydio drones are designed, assembled and supported in the United States providing the highest level of supply chain security. During its live demonstration at DIU’s Blue sUAS virtual launch on August 19th, Skydio showcased the X2D’s world leading autonomous flight capabilities that make it the ultimate solution for reconnaissance, search and rescue, and security patrol missions. Attending the event were representatives from top US government agencies, including Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Interior (DOI), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Agriculture (DoA), Department of Commerce (DoC), General Services Administration (GSA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Skydio also announced new leadership to support public sector customers. Skydio is announcing the addition of three key executive team members including:
- Chuck McGraw as Director of Sales for the Public Sector. Prior to joining Skydio, Chuck spent 20 years as an elite SEAL Team leader, holding the positions of Assault Squadron Operations Chief, Basic Training Command Operations Chief, Master Training Specialist, Senior Program Manager and Assault Team Leader. His twenty-year career has included eleven combat deployments. He has worked on multi-million dollar projects developing and transitioning new technologies from the private sector into government in support of mission critical capability requirements.
- Alden Jones as Senior Director of Customer Success. Alden joins Skydio from American Tower Corporation (ATC), where he founded and led their UAS program to conduct 20,000 automated inspections per year. Alden’s team trained 175 existing employees to become UAS pilots and built a custom back-end automated post-processing system for analysis. Alden started his career as a US Army platoon leader during a combat tour in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. He left the Army as a captain and went on to serve in leadership roles at UTC and Pepsico before joining ATC.
- Fritz Reber as Head of Public Safety Integration. Fritz is a former Captain of the Chula Vista Police Department, where he served as UAS Commander and developed the agency’s internationally recognized Drone-as-First-Responder (DFR) program in partnership with the FAA’s San Diego Drone Integration Pilot Program (IPP). He co-authored the agency’s first-of-its-kind Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) waver for DFR, as well as the recent CVPD Tactical BVLOS waiver enabling Close Proximity, Low Altitude public safety missions. Fritz’s 27-year law enforcement experience provides customer agencies with a knowledgeable resource for effective implementation of UAS into public safety operations.
“We have built a world class direct team and partner ecosystem with unmatched industry expertise to support Public Sector customers as they expand their next generation drone platforms. The combination of Skydio’s US-based leadership in UAS autonomy combined with our team’s experience in building scalable drone programs provides unmatched value to our customers,” added Skydio COO, Mark Cranney.
Skydio also announced a new partnership with ADS. Government supplier ADS will serve as a reseller and contracting partner for Skydio’s public sector sales. ADS holds more than 60 Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts and Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) and has grown to be the #1 Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Supplier and a Top 50 Federal Government Contractor. Skydio’s forthcoming X2D drone will be listed on the General Services Administration (GSA) schedule and available for procurement starting in Q4 2020.
“Skydio’s autonomy features are game changing in the small UAS grouping. As the world’s leading distributor of military rated UAS, ADS is pleased to provide Skydio full support as they roll out the X2D autonomous solution to the defense and commercial sectors. Having a US based IP firm and domestic manufacturing allows Skydio to blend the best in technology with home grown production, ADS is really excited to see this benefit our mutual customers,” said Ryan Angold, ADS SVP of Sales.