Skydio Wins US Army’s $100 Million Small Drone Reconnaissance Contract


Drone manufacturer and automated flight specialist Skydio said it won a contract to supply its X2D drones to the US Army’s Short Range Reconnaissance (SRR) program. Valued at $20.2 million per year, the fixed-price provisioning agreement is expected to be worth $99.8 million over its five-year term.

Beyond its obvious business benefits, the US military deal adds extra shine to Skydio’s drone reputation in at least two other ways. It marks a considerable vote of confidence in the company’s technology – particularly ease and reliability of use, and automated flight capabilities – from the Program Executive Office for the Systems Project Management Office aviation unmanned aircraft that manages the SRR.

The fact that the final decision closely considered feedback from the soldiers themselves on the overall performance and quality of the products indicates that the company’s drones have impressed people from the boots in the field to the top brass. The contract pitch involved 30 small-scale drone manufacturers, of which Skydio’s craft was deemed the most ready to meet the US military’s SRR operational requirements from day one.

“The future of our soldiers is now,” said Colonel Joseph Anderson, project manager for unmanned aircraft systems. “The selection of the U.S. Army’s short-range reconnaissance vendor for the first tranche is an important milestone for the military, our strategic partners, and the national industrial base…The relationships we have forged with industry demonstrate our commitment to be competitive and our ability to lead and innovate cutting-edge technology in unmanned systems.

As part of the deal, the Redwood City-based company will provide the U.S. military with its Skydio X2D drone, which it calls the “ultimate solution for military and defense customers.” The craft combines the company’s signature autonomous performance with AI-driven flight software to enhance reconnaissance, search, rescue and security patrol capabilities. Built with rugged composites to withstand demanding operational environments, the X2D is equipped with dual-color optical thermal sensors and GPS-based night flight and strobe lighting allowing day or night use for up to 35 minutes on a single charge.

American design, components, and assembly of the Skydio drones, meanwhile, were undoubtedly a major factor in the U.S. military’s bidding process, especially at a time when deteriorating bilateral relations excludes Chinese competitors. The company has also focused on the company’s smaller drones to fill a gap that large military drone contractors have tended to overlook, and its production capabilities capable of ramping up production to meet on additional request.

“This is an exciting milestone for Skydio, the military and, most importantly, the men and women who serve our country,” noted Skydio CEO Adam Bry. “For drones under 20 pounds, civilian drone technology has outstripped traditional defense systems. With the SRR program, our soldiers will now have access to the world’s most advanced capabilities in this class. Skydio drones offer unparalleled situational awareness and ease of use in the most demanding situations thanks to Skydio Autonomy.

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