UK’s MoD seeks heavy-lift drones for Royal Navy supply missions
The UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) is seeking to accelerate development of a heavy-lift drone in support of the Royal Navy’s vision to revolutionize its resupplying of ships at sea by using UAVs rather than traditional aircraft like helicopters.
This month the MoD issued a tender under the Uncrewed Air Systems Heavy Lift Capability (UASHLC) program, calling for qualified companies to table bids for developing drones capable of transporting weighty payloads. Those future craft will be used primarily to supply ships at sea, but also potentially frontline combat troops and in other scenarios as well.
The MoD’s formal call for proposals follows an exploratory process the UK Royal Navy kicked off last year with the objective of using heavy-lift drones capable of transporting large quantities of provisions, machine parts, and even fuel as a less expensive and sustainable replacement of helicopters and small airplanes.
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