French drone manufacturer Parrot has come a long way from the early days of the drone industry. Having moved from competing with DJI on the consumer front to focusing on the enterprise market, Parrot is now working to stake a claim to the U.S. military market.
With heightened concerns over the security of drones manufactured overseas – part of U.S. efforts to close gaps in data security – products that meet U.S. military requirements. Parrot has been engaged in an operational assessment for a Short Range Reconnaissance drone program, and will begin manufacturing prototypes of the drone in the U.S.
“To support Parrot’s commitment to U.S. industry capabilities, Parrot is currently finalizing its U.S. production chain with its partner NEOTech to build its final prototype batch for delivery to the U.S. Army and the Defense Innovation Unit in July 2020. The final prototype assembly includes the installation at NEOTech facility of all software developed by Parrot in Paris (France) ensuring high IP protection with no data dissemination,” says the Parrot blog post. “NeoTech and Parrot are also partnering to achieve the highest quality standard in the industry, to meet the U.S. Army requirements.”
The following is a Parrot blog post:
Parrot has passed another milestone in the United States Army’s Short Range Reconnaissance drone program. As the final steps of this selection process, Parrot will participate in an operational assessment to support an Army production award decision. In anticipation of an increased demand signal from the Department of Defense, Parrot will start manufacturing prototypes of its dedicated drone in the United States of America.
The mature prototype presented by Parrot, designed with carefully selected components, has now been approved for initial manufacturing. To support Parrot’s commitment to U.S. industry capabilities, Parrot is currently finalizing its U.S. production chain with its partner NEOTech to build its final prototype batch for delivery to the U.S. Army and the Defense Innovation Unit in July 2020. The final prototype assembly includes the installation at NEOTech facility of all software developed by Parrot in Paris (France) ensuring high IP protection with no data dissemination. NeoTech and Parrot are also partnering to achieve the highest quality standard in the industry, to meet the U.S. Army requirements.
With over 40 years of heritage in electronics manufacturing, NEOTech specializes in high-reliability programs primarily in the Aerospace and Defense industry, Medical Products, and High-Tech Industrial markets. NEOTech has a highly talented engineering group and multiple manufacturing locations throughout the U.S., and is well recognized for its excellent customer service and high-level industry specific certifications. This partnership agreement reinforces Parrot’s strategy to expand in the U.S. through a dedicated approach of the Defense & Security markets.
“Parrot is honored to work with the DoD on this highly strategic project,” said Laurent Rouchon, VP Security & Defense at Parrot. “We have successfully met the high standards set over the last 12 months on the prototype efforts and we look forward to entering this final phase and launching production in the USA.”
In April 2019, the U.S. Army and the Defense Innovation Unit selected Parrot and 5 additional commercial drone manufacturers to develop Short Range Reconnaissance prototype drones for military use. As a result of the award, Parrot developed a prototype of the drone between May and November of 2019. Parrot focused the company’s Paris based research and development efforts toward engineering a drone dedicated to the U.S. Army specifications. A prototype unit was finalized in November 2019, and the initial testing phase continued through January 2020. The initial positive results have encouraged Parrot to begin exploring the industrialization phase in early 2020.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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