Published date: 12 May 2023

Last edited date: 12 May 2023

Closed opportunity - This means that the contract is currently closed. The buying department may be considering suppliers that have already applied, or no suitable offers were made.

Closing: 23 June 2023, 5pm

Contract summary


  • Unmanned combat aerial vehicles - 35613100

  • Military research and technology - 73410000

Location of contract

BS34 8JH

Value of contract

£1,225,000 to £95,000,000

Procurement reference


Published date

12 May 2023

Closing date

23 June 2023

Closing time


Contract start date

1 July 2023

Contract end date

31 August 2026

Contract type

Not specified

Procedure type

Restricted procedure (above threshold)

A two-stage procedure, where the first stage is used to select suppliers, who are then invited to bid in the second stage.

This procedure can be used for procurements above the relevant contract value threshold.

Contract is suitable for SMEs?


Contract is suitable for VCSEs?



This Opportunity Listing is a chance to join the extant UASHLC Framework:
The Uncrewed Air Systems Heavy Lift Capability (UASHLC) Framework (the Framework) has been created by the Authority to accelerate the development of a range of autonomous Heavy Lift UAS for use predominantly, but not exclusively, in the maritime domain.
The intention is to address the lack of current options in the market by increasing the number of delivery ready platforms in order to help support and develop the Authority's understanding of the potential capabilities and operational uses for such Uncrewed systems.
The Authority will facilitate accelerated development of one or more Supplier UAS to meet or exceed the requirements of Authority defined Minimum Viable Products (MVPs), along with complementary and underpinning technologies that will enhance UAS operational capabilities.
Our intent is to ensure that Defence will have access at the speed of relevance, to current and future emerging cutting-edge capabilities for use within the Royal Navy and other domains.
The Authority will facilitate, via the use of this competitive framework, an environment whereby suppliers are able to demonstrate current capabilities, set out product development and commercial exploitation roadmaps and work with both the Authority and potentially with other suppliers to accelerate pace of development and reduce time to market.
The purpose of the UASHLC Framework is therefore to support and inform the development of Maritime operating concepts and enable assessment, analysis, exploration and evaluation of the use of UAS for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) payload delivery and broader UAS capabilities.
The Framework is designed specifically to:
i) provide Sponsor / User confidence in the potential for UAS systems to provide recoverable, adaptable, Autonomous/remotely piloted air systems, capable of accurately delivering heavy payloads at range;
ii) enable the Authority to identify and as appropriate fund the most viable solutions in the market for accelerated further development in order to meet the Authority's minimum requirements (the MVPs) within the timescales stated,
iii) provide the Authority with a mechanism for end users to potentially acquire systems for further evaluation or other use.
The framework is open to all Industry Partners who can articulate how their technology/capability can enhance the Heavy Lift UAS market, thereby not constraining the framework to only Platform providers, as underpinning and novel UAS related technologies and capabilities are also in scope. These underpinning and novel technologies and capabilities can encompass (but aren't restricted to) payloads, fuels, software, and Counter UAS technologies (ground or platform based). The first tasking within the framework will be based around two confirmed sprints as articulated below, with scope for an additional three sprints as the programme develops (Authority requirement and funding dependent).

More information


About the buyer

Contact name

Toby Love


#1261 Spruce 2B, DE&S Abbey Wood, Filton
BS34 8JH