In context: Drones are a common sight in today’s theaters of war, where they tend to be used as offensive weaponry. But a new machine has been designed to deliver large amounts of goods onto the battlefield and in war-torn regions with more accuracy and cost-efficiency than current methods.
Shown off at the Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) show in London, Yates Electrospace Corporation’s (YEC) Silent Arrow GD-2000 is a 2,000-pound glider delivery drone that can carry up to 1,631 pounds of cargo.
As reported by New Atlas, the drone, which has a wingspan of 28 feet, is either carried aboard a cargo plane or tethered beneath a helicopter with its spring-deployed wings folded in. Once within 40 miles of a target, the Silent Arrow is released and glides autonomously and silently to its destination. The drone is currently a single-use model, but a reusable glider and a reusable electric take-off and landing version are being developed.
The drone is designed as a potential replacement for the Joint Precision Airdrop System (JPADS), which uses GPS and steerable parachutes to deliver supplies to troops. Not only is the Silent Arrow capable of doing the same job at less than half the cost, but being a glider means it also has double the glide ratio, better landing accuracy, and is much stealthier.
Production of the Silent Arrow GD-2000 begins next month. Check out the video below to see the aircraft in flight.