Darkhive Inc. Awarded $5M Contract with the US Air Force to Deliver Advanced Drone Autonomy Software Capabilities

Darkhive Inc., a San Antonio-based autonomous uncrewed systems developer specializing in defence and public safety solutions, announced the award of a $5M Phase III Small Business Innovation Research contract with the US Air Force AFWERX Prime to integrate and test next-generation autonomy software to a variety of uncrewed aerial system platforms.

“We’re very excited to be participating in this program,” said John Goodson, CEO of Darkhive.  “An open government-owned framework optimized for rapidly integrating, testing and securely deploying software to edge systems has been at the centre of our mission from the beginning.  The Government and industry team supporting this effort is phenomenal, we’re honoured to have the opportunity to contribute to solving some very hard problems for DoD and, most importantly, delivering for the end-user on the front lines.”

Founded in 2021, Darkhive has placed an emphasis on developing affordable, US-manufactured uncrewed systems with open hardware and software interfaces to provide life-saving situational awareness at home and abroad. “In order to achieve dynamic, autonomous systems both within the US Department of Defense (DoD) and with foreign partners, we have to break away from fragmented, vendor-locked approaches to software development and secure deployment on uncrewed systems,” said Steve Turner, CTO of Darkhive. “By establishing open, accessible, discoverable, and adaptable interfaces, we can unlock the potential for cohesive, collaborative behaviour. The deployment and security of software have experienced significant advancements over the past decade, but these transformative changes have yet to be fully realized in uncrewed platforms and meeting evolving end-user requirements. We are thrilled to collaborate with the US Air Force and industry partners to overcome these challenges and spearhead a revolution in autonomous systems.”

Darkhive has previously been awarded contracts with the Defense Innovation Unit National Security Innovation Capital contract, multiple Small Business Innovation Research with the Air Force, and a Small Business Technology Transfer award partnered with the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. 

About AFRL

Sole organization leading the planning & execution of USAF & USSF science & technology programs.  Orchestrates a worldwide government, industry & academia coalition in the discovery, development & delivery of a wide range of revolutionary technology.  Provides leading-edge warfighting capabilities keeping air, space and cyberspace forces the world’s best. Employs 10,800 military, civilian, and contractor personnel at 17 research sites executing an annual $4B budget.

For more information, visit: www.afresearchlab.com

About AFWERX

AFWERX is an Air Force Research Laboratory Directorate that connects innovators across government, industry and academia. Through innovation and collaboration with our nation’s top subject-matter experts, AFWERX harnesses the power of ingenuity of internal talent while expanding technology, talent and transition partnerships for rapid and affordable commercial and military capability.

Additional information is available at www.afwerx.com