Government papers disclose that Anduril Industries, the surveillance firm established by Palmer Luckey (the Oculus Rift inventor), got a US Marine Corps deal previously this month. The $13.5 Million deals contract covers “self-directed surveillance counter-intrusion abilities” at 4 Marine Corps bases. Of these, one is in Hawaii, two are in Japan, and one is in Yuma, Arizona, close to the US-Mexico border.
The Marine Corps deal was formally awarded last week, as per a notice by Federal Business Opportunities. Additional papers, posted by Latinx activism agency Mijente below the Freedom of Information Act, claim that Anduril will be offering surveillance “ability as a service.” This means it will be installing, shipping, and maintaining its own tech along with training government people for using it.
The tech comprises Lattice platform by Anduril. This platform can notionally detect humans with the help of AI, as well as Lattice sentry towers fitted with series of sensors. It is supposed to be completely phased in by September 20, 2019, and operated for a period of one year with an option to expand. Anduril provides drones that support the Lattice project too, and the Marine Corps experimented with the option in 2018.
Mijente also posted papers showing two deals with Border Patrol and Customs—one $4.8 Million deal for “border surveillance apparatus” comprising towers, and a $203,000 deal for a “tiny UAS.”
On a related note, the US military has employed drones in battle for more than a decade to support and scout infantry. And earlier they claimed that they are testing a method to offer ground troops another advantage: The ability to make UAVs themselves. The US Army is joining hands with the Marine Corps on a program that allows troops to 3D-print specific drone components from a tablet-supported catalog, which can ultimately result in creating UAVs tailored to the mission.