U.S. Government Expands UAV Fleet with Alpha 900 Helicopter Drones

Rapid Expeditionary Concepts (REC), a veteran and minority-owned small business that specializes in providing end-to-end Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (C5ISR) solutions, has been awarded a prime contract from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for the purchase of Alpha 900 unmanned helicopter systems manufactured by Alpha Unmanned Systems, SL in Madrid, Spain.

Under the terms of the contract, REC will be responsible for the integration of a specialized electro-optical sensor used in counter unmanned aerial system (CUAS) operations. The Prime and Alpha will provide deployment and training support utilizing the Alpha 900 in a joint operational evaluation to be conducted by the U.S Department of Defense over the next two years.

REC has a long track record of adapting commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology for use by various end-customers in the defence, energy, and special operations communities. The company has a particular focus on integrating advanced payloads and sensors on board various manned and unmanned platforms intended for land, sea, and airborne use.

The Alpha 900 unmanned helicopter system from Alpha Unmanned Systems, SL is a small tactical helicopter that weighs only 55lbs and is known for its long autonomous flight time of up to 4 hours with up to 8.5lbs of payload capacity. Alpha’s helicopter UAVs take off and land automatically on moving platforms, making them ideal for a variety of purposes, from maritime security to power line inspection, mapping, and precision agriculture.

Alpha’s CEO, Eric Freeman, expressed his delight in supporting the U.S. government and fulfilling the demanding requirements for this project. He expressed his hope that Alpha’s reliable products would lead to a long-lasting relationship with the U.S. government and help other Spanish companies with cutting-edge technologies enter the world’s largest and most important technology marketplace.

REC’s Program Director, Dr. Paul Kuttner, PhD, is confident in the team’s ability to execute the program flawlessly. The team has been involved in the design, integration, and/or deployment of Group 1 – 5 unmanned aerial systems and subsystems of relevance for many years, and has the unique ability to leverage an operational mindset to develop training curricula and documentation that resonates with real-world end-users.

Overall, this prime contract award from the U.S. DoD is an exciting development in the UAS industry. The integration of Alpha 900 unmanned helicopter systems with a specialized electro-optical sensor will enhance CUAS operations and provide the U.S. government with cutting-edge technology to better protect against emerging threats.

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