Govt signs $17 mil. contract for drones

The government signed a $17 million contract with Swift Engineering, Inc. yesterday for 55 unmanned aerial drones.

Swift was selected out of 25 companies, according to Minister of National Security Marvin Dames.

“Today, we celebrate a partnership between a small innovation company – that is very proud to give you technology that is not available anywhere else – and a nation with the vision to utilize it to make your nation better,” said Rick Heise, president and chief security officer at Swift Engineering, Inc., during the contract signing.

“What our goal is, is to take this technology that we’ve developed and collect it to be a force multiplier to the Ministry of National Security’s objectives and priorities.”

The signing came more than a year after the government released the request for proposals (RFP) for the drones.

Last year, Dames said the government had hoped to have companies shortlisted by the end of December in order to begin negotiations in January. The deadline for proposals was December 17.

The technology will be a part of a multi-agency drone program.

The drone program is expected to include immediate surveillance capabilities, as well as training in drones, the purchasing of drones and the development of a drone academy and workshop.

“This new capability will enhance national security and may be utilized by all of the uniformed branches to combat crime, illegal migration and other national security threats,” Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said in April.

Yesterday, Dames said the contract includes the cost of training.

“Everything is included within the contract,” the minister said.

“Everything is included. We sought out to ensure that we’re able to procure the equipment, that we’re able to provide the requisite training to get our offices up because we talk about a drone academy, which is going to be regional in scope.

“And so, it’s all about planning a structure that would allow and accommodate that. So, we have taken a very broad approach to this.”

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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