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Syracuse firm selected for Department of Defense pilot program, awarded $10 million

By Eric Reinhardt (


SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has selected Hidden Level Inc. of Syracuse to receive $10 million in funding for the pilot program, Accelerate the Procurement and Fielding of Innovating Technologies (APFIT).

As a pre-Series B sensor technology and drone-defense company, Hidden Level is one of only 11 companies awarded funding by the DOD in 2023, the firm said in its Thursday announcement.

The corporate office of Hidden Level located at 1014 N. Geddes St. in Syracuse. (Photo credit: Hidden Level)

Hidden Level’s corporate office is located at 1014 N. Geddes St. in Syracuse. 

“Being selected for APFIT funding is a huge vote of confidence by the DOD in our technology,” Jeff Cole, CEO of Hidden Level, said. "We have always been confident in our capabilities, but this win is recognition that our technology can rapidly fill a significant gap in warfighting needs.” 

The APFIT pilot program will transition technologies from development into production and accelerate the fielding of those technologies to the warfighter, the company said. Hidden Level’s technology will provide tactical passive radar for counter unmanned air systems (UAS) for the U.S. Army.

APFIT funding will help deliver “war-winning capability” a year or two earlier than scheduled while “contributing to the health” of the U.S. industrial base through investments in small businesses or nontraditional defense-developed capabilities, Hidden Level said.

Given $150 million by Congress in 2023, the National Defense Authorization Act of fiscal year 2022 was created as a merit-based, competitive program for “innovative and mature” technologies and products to meet warfighter demands that “lack the necessary funding to field,” per the firm’s announcement.