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Hands Off Hauler

Story by Frank Colucci

Kaman demonstrates the utility of an autonomous cargo-carrying Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for Army resupply missions.

THE LATEST DEMONSTRATION of Broad-area Unmanned Responsive Resupply Operations (BURRO+) marked the first known time an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) deployed and recovered an Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV). With a safety pilot aboard, Kaman's K-MAX helicopter delivered a UGV and other payloads to programmed points handsoff. The ability to move robots with other robots may someday enhance the US Army's networked Future Combat System. More importantly, an unmanned cargo carrier based on K-MAX/BURRO+ technology could free aircrews from resupply missions and give the Transformational Army a powerful force multiplier. Retired Lieutenant General John M Riggs, former director of the U.S. Army Objective Force Task Force, explains, "The more we can off-load our soldiers, the more soldiers we'll have for our combat arms." A purpose-built logistics UAV using K-MAX/BURRO+ technology could deliver cargo without the risk and cost of manned aircraft. "It doesn't suffer the same fatigue or the same pressures as men in the loop," says General Riggs. "It doesn't care about night or day or adverse weather, and it's something that doesn't mind doing the dull, the dirty, and the dangerous." General Riggs adds, "You could envision a whole host of operations

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Published on: 2006-03-18 (1227 reads)

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