The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (Nawcad) The United States recently demonstrated various unmanned systems in a mission to transport supplies to ships on the high seas without the use of manned aircraft. The tests were carried out during a ceremony held at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station de St. Inigoes, Maryland.
The demonstration, carried out in collaboration with the Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems (PMA-263) program, used unmanned vehicles to transport loads of less than 23 kilos, which represent 90% of the logistics deliveries of the Navy.
The program director PMA-263, Victor Argobright, has said that “the Navy is currently identifying areas where unmanned logistics would be a critical enabler for operations at sea, and UAS Blue Water Maritime Logistics it is a great demonstration of this emerging requirement.”
During the event, members Skyways Air Transportation y Martin UAV they operated their unmanned systems via long-range flights from ship-to-ship, ship-to-shore, and shore-to-ship situations, transporting a variety of objects to mimic critical supplies. Both systems successfully delivered payloads to over 200 nautical miles on a moving vessel.
Capacities of the systems used
The unmanned systems being studied are capable of vertical takeoff and landing to operate from most Navy ships at sea and shore stations, as well as systems that do not require specific launch and recovery equipment.
Nawcad purchased the original prototype of Blue Water UAS in 2019 to demonstrate long-range unmanned ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore cargo transportation. Navy test pilots and engineers have since worked with industry partners to develop a system that better meets maritime requirements.
The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division is the Navy’s dedicated aviation warfare center and employs more than 17,000 military, civilian, and contract personnel. It operates proving grounds, laboratories, and aircraft in support of the testing, evaluation, research, development, and sustainment of everything the Navy and Marine Corps fly. Headquartered in Patuxent River, Maryland, the command also has major hubs in St. Inigoes, Maryland, Lakehurst, New Jersey, and Orlando, Florida.