On November 4, 2022, at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, a Skydio X2D small unmanned aerial system was tested during its first operational flight around a stationary aircraft.
The SUAS program is managed by the Bedrock Innovation Lab and the Plans and Programs office of the 436th Airlift Wing. In order to support a variety of mission sets, including aircraft maintenance inspections, counter-SUAS, airfield inspections, and the development of Agile Combat Employment – Tactics Techniques and Procedures, the program offers safe and effective integration of SUAS capabilities at Dover AFB. Due to its sophisticated obstacle avoidance system and other potential capabilities, the SUAS model was chosen over other Department of Defense-approved systems. Workflow automation, 3-D scanning, and forward-looking infrared (FLIR) thermal imaging are some of the features of the Skydio being evaluated.