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What is DIU and how do they impact the drone industry?

By December 3, 2020No Comments

You may have heard the names Teal and DIU used in tandem quite frequently over the past few months, but what exactly is the DIU and what does it mean for the future of Teal? In this article, we’ll dive a bit deeper into the origin of DIU, its purpose, and why its context is important to not only the drone industry but to the world around us.

What’s the DIU?

DIU refers to the Defense Innovation Unit, a subsidiary of the United States Department of Defense. DIU was originally founded to support the U.S. Military in its goal to identify, procure, and utilize emerging technologies faster. Recently, DIU solidified its place as a department of the DoD where it partners with organizations sourced from its parent unit to “prototype and field advanced commercial solutions that address national security challenges.” The DIU is currently the only DoD organization whose sole responsibility is to develop and scale commercial technologies across the U.S. military at a commercial pace.

With the recent bans on Chinese drone manufacturers across the DoD, the DIU has launched a new acquisition program focused on enabling federal agencies to buy small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) to ease fears of cybersecurity threats. This program, Blue sUAS, launched in September, featured American-made drone manufacturers – including Teal – that have been vetted and cleared by the DIU for agency purchase.


The Blue sUAS Program

The program is a direct response to the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act that banned all federal use and procurement of Chinese-manufactured drones among growing data-flow, dual-use, and dependency concerns. U.S. Government departments, like the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of the Interior, are able to confidently move forward with American sUAS that mitigate risks and concerns of Chinese products.

Companies chosen for the Blue sUAS program developed their products to not only support the U.S. Army SRR Program of Record but also additional use cases across industries in the Government and Commercial markets. The DIU worked closely with the Blue sUAS program members to perform rigorous cybersecurity testing, ensure supply-chain compliance and robustness, and standardize communication controls, protocols, and components for ease of use across government agencies and commercial opportunities.

What’s next? 

Now that these approved systems are available for government procurement on the GSA Schedule, and also available to commercial customers, the stage has been set for the continued growth of the U.S. drone industrial base with incredible next-generation capabilities launching over the coming years. We’re excited to see all the innovation that comes out of the Government’s support of American unmanned technology and proud to be part of this first class of approved drone systems.