If Drones Can Drop Off Your Goods, They Sure Can Resupply Troops on the Field

Boeing MQ-25 refueling drone 1 photo
Photo: Boeing
We reached a point in our existence when we can safely say we’re living in the future envisioned by sci-fi movies. We’ve got electric cars on the streets, autonomous vehicles just around the corner, and drones flying overhead doing anything from killing bad guys to delivering Amazon orders.
And things are about to get even more, let’s say, futuristic in the years ahead, as all of these technologies are evolving at a rapid pace. The drone segment, for instance, is expected to explode, and there’s literally very few things these machines, land- or air-based, can't do.

The military is one of the driving forces in the field of drones. The general public only gets wind of the big bad ones circling the battlefields high-above, ready to rain death at a moment’s notice, but drones have the potential of doing a hell of a lot more for the armies they serve. They could not only be active support for the troops but also act as supply lines, if you will.

For a number of years now, the U.S. Army expressed interest in something it calls Joint Tactical Autonomous Aerial Resupply System. As its name says, it is supposed to be a means to resupply troops - capable of carrying up to 800 pounds (363 kg) of supplies for distances of up to 110 miles (177 km). It will have to be capable of doing so in all types of weather and with equal prowess during the night as during the day.

According to a request for information posted by the Army not long ago, players in the drone industry interested in making such machines have until February 12 to respond.

It’s unclear at this point how long it will take for a fully operational system to be developed, but given how the industry is in a far more advanced place than it was a decade ago, it will probably not be that long.
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Editor's note: Photo shows the Boeing MQ-25 refueling drone being tested by the U.S. Navy.

About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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