Unmanned Helicopters for the War on Terror

As the conflict in Afghanistan continues, the US military is continuing to research ways into finding the perfect solution to protect its troops from unnecessary dangers. One of those solutions, among the best, some say, is using the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), already a common sight on the battlegrounds of today.

For now though, the UAVs are mainly used as either reconnaissance or attack missions. There is little use for the UAVs when it comes to resupplying remote outposts. Currently, this operation is being handled by trucks and, more rarely, helicopters, with the first being vulnerable to improvised explosive devices (IED) on Afghan roads.

To cut its loses in terms of both men and materials, the US Navy is currently considering using unmanned helicopters for transport. According to Stars and Stripes, the Navy is looking for a contractor to conduct a trial as soon as 2011.

So far, several defense contractors have demonstrated their unmanned helos, including Boeing (with an aircraft called A160T Hummingbird) and Kaman/Lockheed Martin (with the K-MAX).

“You want to remove that threat of putting people in harm’s way when you are moving cargo around,
” Terry Fogarty, Kaman/Lockheed Martin responsible for the K-MAX told Stars and Stripes. “You can do it at night and put no one in harm’s way.”

“An entire mission can be done autonomously with nobody controlling the aircraft other than the person who programmed the mission before hand,” added Dan Spoor, Lockheed Martin aviation systems vice president.

There is no word yet on how much money the US will spend on the helicopters, should the project get the green light. The advantages however clearly outweigh the disadvantages, even if we are talking solely about the protection of the troops or the increased number of flights/aircraft caused by the lack of a human crew.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Daniel Patrascu
Daniel Patrascu profile photo

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.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories