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.
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.