The U.S. Marine Corps has accomplished a profitable check of its new cargo drone programs, U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command introduced Wednesday.
The particulars got in a 7 April media launch, to announce the Marines successfully accomplished a Tactical Resupply Unmanned Aircraft System (TRUAS) Field User Capability Assessment (FUCA) in March at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, of two prototype programs recognized by a profitable prize problem in final 12 months.
Anticipated future finish customers got the chance to work with each prototype programs – Survice Engineering’s TRV-150 and Chartis Federal’s MK4-RX – to evaluate the aptitude with a purpose to inform the ultimate requirement for TRUAS.
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“I was extremely impressed to see lance corporals and privates first class training, assembling, and then operating both systems,” stated Col. Vic Argobright, Navy and Marine Corps Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems (PMA-263) program supervisor, who oversees the TRUAS program. “That is exactly what we were hoping to see, and I believe there will be a lot of really good input from the Marines. The test team from Marine Corps Operational Test and Evaluation Activity did an excellent job coordinating the event to ensure that we gathered the needed data and feedback.”
The prototypes have been designed to fulfill the Marines preliminary necessities for an autonomous unmanned system that may transport a minimum of 60 kilos of cargo in varied configurations generally present in Marine firm/platoon/squad resupply operations (ex: 5-gallon water can, ammo can/case, Meals-Ready-to-Eat case) via a 10-kilometer radius.
“The initial prize challenge in 2020 gave us a great starting point to further gauge this technology,” stated Christina Petrow, TRUAS workforce lead. “We learned a lot about the capability that already exists as well as where it can take us in the future. This capability assessment is the next step in that process.”
During the evaluation, two teams of Marines replicated a full day resupply of an infantry squadron after the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) supplied three days of system coaching and a day of pilot analysis. The course of was repeated so that every one subject customers had the chance to guage each platforms independently.
This functionality is comparatively new to the Marine Corps, and the occasion was designed to permit Marines to make use of the programs as they might within the subject and supply suggestions that might be included into the ultimate requirement for fielded programs. This kind of suggestions is usually not supplied till the tip of the acquisition cycle, giving the Marines taking part on this occasion a loud voice to assist form the way in which unmanned logistics resupply is carried out for the fleet.
“Early involvement of the Marines has afforded invaluable insight into how the end users will actually interact with these systems, including ways in which the OEMs never considered,” stated Petrow. “Learning this information early in the acquisition cycle ensures the requirements are properly captured and the fielded system works with and for the Marine Corps.”