December 13, 2023

Visits by DoD’s Top Leaders Underscore Skydio’s Commitment to Delivering Small Autonomous Systems to America’s Armed Forces

Mark Valentine

Mark Valentine

Visits by DoD’s Top Leaders Underscore Skydio’s Commitment to Delivering Small Autonomous Systems to America’s Armed Forces
Adam Bry, Skydio CEO and Co-Founder, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks tour Skydio’s drone manufacturing facility in Hayward, California. (Photo: Sierra Sarino, Skydio)

For the past several years, Skydio has been delivering sUAS technology, powered by AI and autonomy, to the U.S. and allied defense enterprises. Today, we are very proud to say that the Skydio X2D is benefiting all branches of the U.S. Military and multiple allied militaries.

That is why we were honored to share our capabilities and commitment with top leadership of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) in the past two weeks. On December 1st, we had the privilege of meeting Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III and demonstrating Skydio’s advanced autonomous sUAS systems in use by warfighters around the world. That demonstration featured multiple Skydio drones operating under the oversight of a single person.

Skydio CEO and Co-founder, Adam Bry, demonstrates an X2D drone for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III.
Skydio CEO and Co-founder, Adam Bry, demonstrates an X2D drone for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III.

And yesterday, we were proud to welcome Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks to Skydio’s San Mateo headquarters for a meeting with our team, a demonstration of Skydio platforms in action including the X10D and Dock, and a tour of our Hayward manufacturing facility – the largest of its kind in the U.S.

Both visits were in support of the DoD’s Replicator initiative. As Dr. Hicks announced in August 2023, the initiative seeks to equip the U.S. military with affordable, autonomous systems to counter U.S. adversary advantages in mass, with an asymmetric investment in technology “at the volume and velocity required to deter aggression or win if we’re forced to fight.”

Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks at Skydio HQ in San Mateo
Adam Bry, Skydio CEO and Co-Founder, Deputy Secretary of Defense Katheen Hicks, and Doug Beck, Director of the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Defense, view an autonomous drone demonstration. (DoD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Alexander Kubitza)

As we have previously written, we fully support the Replicator vision as described by Dr. Hicks and we are excited to continue building on our partnership with DoD. As a dual-use company manufacturing at scale to meet the needs of our commercial and defense customers, we are uniquely prepared to answer Replicator's call. To this end, we have recently expanded our manufacturing capacity by a factor of 10, enabling us to significantly increase the amount of drones that we can produce per month.

Skydio is the first and only company manufacturing small autonomous drones at scale in the U.S.

Since our selection as the Short Range Reconnaissance (SRR) program of record for the US Army, we’ve worked closely with the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) to make the acquisition of autonomous drones as simple as possible for the DoD, and have established a National Defense Authorization Act-compliant supply chain that is heavily U.S.-based to ensure reliable sourcing for production at scale. We are proud to have delivered thousands of drones to the U.S. military.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks at Skydio HQ
Deputy Secretary Hicks views a computer vision demonstration. (Photo: Sierra Sarino, Skydio)

Further, Skydio has worked closely with DIU to design and develop the Artificial Intelligence for Small Unit Maneuver (AISUM) system, which enables a single operator to simultaneously manage a heterogeneous swarm of drones. The AISUM program and the technological advances it drives represent an important shift in the command and control paradigm for uncrewed systems that is critical to the success of the Replicator initiative and the ability of the U.S. to effectively employ intelligent, affordable mass.

As demonstrated by these partnerships and the adoption of Skydio drones by militaries around the world, including active use by the defense forces of Ukraine and Israel, all countries in the Five Eyes (FVEY) intelligence alliance and across NATO, we are pushing the boundaries of what drone technology can do to protect servicemembers, increase mission effectiveness and ultimately aid in stronger security and greater prosperity around the world.

Small, smart, survivable, and scalable drone networks are the future. They will save lives, deter aggression and, if necessary, help ensure America and its allies come out on top. Skydio is proud to stand with the DoD to meet their needs both now and in the future.

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