The US Navy’s Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two Four (UX-24) have demonstrated the capabilities of two uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) for future cargo resupply missions.
The two drones are tactical resupply UAS (TRUAS or TRV-150) and Blue Water logistics UAS (BWUAS).
The systems are being considered for delivery to the US Navy and US Marine Corps through ‘non-traditional acquisition strategies’.
Demonstrations using the TRUAS and the BWUAS took place in St. Inigoes, Maryland, US on 27 October.
The event was coordinated by the navy and Marine Corps Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems program office (PMA-263) and Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD).
NAVAIR commander vice-admiral Carl Chebi said: “It’s exciting to see the close collaboration between the programme office, NAWCAD and the operators.
“The team’s ‘can do’ spirit and innovative acquisition approach will speed much-needed capability to the navy and Marine Corps.”
TRV-150 UAS is a marine-focused platform designed for tactical resupply primarily on shore, while BWUAS is a navy-focused platform used for resupply at sea.
It is designed to transport items like food and tactical gear to marines and has a shorter range and heavier lift around compared to Blue Water UAS.
In the first mission, the team made an air drop where TRUAS flew to a pre-programmed point to drop a payload and flew back to the original point.
In the second leg, TRUAS flew to specified coordinates, landed, released the payload for delivery, and then returned to its location.
The BWUAS was flown to prove a vertical take-off, transition to forward flight, and then back to vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) for an air drop.
During this testing, the system was able to transition back to forward flight and returned with a vertical landing.
NAVAIR noted that TRUAS will be delivered to marines next summer as part of an ‘extended user assessment’.