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Coast Guard to get old Marine Corps drones

Dec. 17, 2013 - 03:45AM   |  
By MICHAEL PECK   |   Comments
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The Coast Guard will get 20 surplus Wasp III small unmanned aerial systems from the Marine Corps, courtesy of a Pentagon technology transfer program.

Under the Defense Department’s Domestic Preparedness Support Initiative program and the Navy’s Technology Transfer program, surplus military systems can be turned over to the Department of Homeland Security and its agencies, including the Coast Guard. With the Marine Corps transitioning to the Wasp IV system, it no longer needs the hand-launched Wasp III, which originally cost $150,000 per system.

“This technology transfer is a fantastic opportunity for the Coast Guard Research and Development Center to develop in-house UAS capabilities,” said Andrew Niccolai, director of UAS Technology Projects at the Coast Guard Research and Development Center in Groton, Conn., in a Naval Air Systems Command news release.

“This is really a win-win situation,” said Marine Corps Maj. Gary Shill, deputy integrated product team lead for PMA-263 Group 1, which is NAVAIR’s organization for Navy and Marine small UAVs.

“The Marine Corps is disposing of systems we no longer have a requirement for, and the Coast Guard is avoiding the cost of having to purchase new systems,” Shill said.

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