May 17, 2022

MCL and Skydio Awarded £3 Million Contract for MOD Spiral 4

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infantry launching drone

18 May 2022: Marlborough Communications Limited (MCL) and its technology partner, leading American drone manufacturer Skydio, have been awarded a contract from the UK MOD as part of the Future Capabilities Group (FCG) nano unmanned aerial systems (nUAS) framework. Spiral 4 of the framework will inform future drone concepts and requirements, with the contract positioning MCL as a key UAS provider in the UK.

Valued at £3 million, the contract centres on the delivery of Skydio’s autonomous X2D drones along with its artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D Scan capability. With the ability to conduct reconnaissance, security patrol and incident response missions, Skydio drones incorporate 360°obstacle avoidance and are night operation enabled. Skydio Autonomy enables the drones to deliver total situational awareness with six 4K cameras building a map of the surroundings, and deep learning algorithms and AI able to understand and predict future scenarios to inform decision-making.

In addition, Skydio 3D Scan provides adaptive scanning software which automates the data capture needed to generate 3D models. With ultra-high resolution and coverage, the technology enables faster high-quality inspections with minimal pilot training.

Focused on providing faster and safer intelligence in “around-the-corner” or “over-the-hill” situations, Spiral 4 aims to introduce new capabilities which increase situational awareness, and provide early warnings during defensive missions and functions including 3D scanning, mapping and surveying.

Shane Knight, Managing Director at MCL said, “Through this partnership, the MOD will benefit from enhanced situational awareness and a significantly reduced training burden on operators. Skydio’s autonomous technology will allow for faster and more informed decision making, substantially reducing the risk to personnel.

“The strength of our partnership with Skydio has been clearly demonstrated in securing this contract after a comprehensive tender process. Following the successful delivery of the technology to the MOD, we’re looking forward to demonstrating and training operators on how to use the innovative Skydio technology this year.”

Adam Bry, CEO at Skydio said, “Skydio's drones represent a strategic advantage on the battlefields of today and tomorrow, enabling soldiers to obtain real-time, unprecedented situational awareness. We are proud to partner with MCL in providing this capability to the UK armed forces.”

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Notes to editors:

About MCL:

MCL is a supplier of advanced electronic communications, information systems and signals intelligence technology to the defence and security sectors. Working with partners, prime contractors and directly with the customer, MCL utilises an international network of specialist technology providers, combined with its own bespoke design, engineering and integration skills, to supply and support a diverse portfolio of C4IS and ISTAR capabilities. MCL has been part of the Cohort group of companies since 2014.

About Skydio:

Skydio is the leading U.S. drone manufacturer and world leader in autonomous flight. Skydio leverages breakthrough AI to create the world’s most intelligent flying machines for use by consumers, enterprises, and government customers. Founded in 2014, Skydio is made up of leading experts in AI, robotics, cameras, and electric vehicles from top companies, research labs, and universities from around the world. Skydio designs, assembles, and supports its products in the U.S. from its headquarters in Redwood City, CA, to offer the highest standards of supply chain and manufacturing security. Skydio is trusted by leading enterprises across a wide range of industry sectors and is backed by top investors and strategic partners including Andreesen Horowitz, Levitate Capital, Next47, IVP, Playground, and NVIDIA.

About Cohort plc:

Cohort plc is an independent technology company and the parent company of six innovative, agile and responsive businesses, Chess, EID, ELAC SONAR, MASS, MCL, and SEA, providing a wide range of services and products for UK, German, Portuguese and international customers in defence, security and related markets.

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