The US Navy will begin testing logistics drones on an aircraft carrier to see if using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is practical in that environment. These drones are capable of carrying up to a 50 pound payload and can fly around 200 miles. These tests meet the needs of Military Sealift Command (which controls Navy supply and military transport vessels) and Naval Air Forces Atlantic Fleet for a faster way to get critical parts to warships. at sea. The trials will be conducted by the Aircraft Division of the Naval Air Warfare Center and will include up to four UAVs in service for the trials.
The Navy has determined that approximately 90% of critical mission failures of ongoing warships can be repaired by sending in a payload weighing less than 20 pounds, which can certainly be carried by these UAVs. For example, if a small radar component were broken, the Navy could use a UAV to transport the part from a larger vessel at sea to the smaller vessel in a short time without having to reschedule a helicopter route.
The objective of these tests is to be able to use drones for the delivery of critical parts at a distance of 200 miles, putting the parts in the hands of sailors in an efficient and economical way. These tests will take place over a period of two years.