Release
Immediate Release

Department Guidance on Procurement and Operation of DoD Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Sept. 10, 2021

On Sept. 8, 2021, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks signed into effect updated guidance for the procurement and operation of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).  In support of the National Defense Strategy, this updated policy provides expanded department-wide guidance on the use of all UAS, regardless of size, weight, or capability.

Mitigating the threats posed by small UAS, including Da Jiang Innovations (DJI) systems, remains a priority across the department.  This updated policy allows DoD to take advantage of rapid technological advancements of the commercial market while concurrently reaffirming the department’s recognition that certain foreign made commercial UAS pose a clear and present threat to U.S. national security.  

It enables the department to more freely use commercially developed UAS by better defining a process for clearing trusted systems and ensures the department’s continued compliance with Section 848 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 and Executive Order 13981 on “Protecting the United States from Certain Unmanned Aircraft Systems.”