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USN contracts PteroDynamics to deliver VTOL cargo aircraft

27th August 2021 - 15:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London

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PteroDynamics’ VTOL UAS design. (Photo: PteroDynamics.)

Using UAS to transport cargo would free up helicopters and V-22 aircraft for other missions.

The US Naval Air Warfare Centre Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) has contracted Vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft developer PteroDynamics to deliver three VTOL prototypes for the Blue Water Maritime Logistics UAS (BWUAS) programme.

PteroDynamics’ CEO Matthew Graczyk said the company was honoured to have been selected, adding: ‘This contract is the start of an important partnership, and we look forward to delivering the prototypes to NAWCAD.’

The BWUAS programme stems from the Military Sealift Command and Fleet Forces Command, in 2018, identifying a requirement for the USN to develop an autonomous UAS cargo delivery capability.

At the time, analysis found that 90% of ‘critical repair cargo’ delivered at sea via rotorcraft weighed less than 22.6kg.

NAWCAD Blue Water project lead Bill Macchione said: ‘Using unmanned, autonomous aircraft for delivery of these critical payloads is an important capability for the Navy to have,

‘The innovative design of PteroDynamics offers significant potential for both military and civilian missions.’

Val Petrov, PteroDynamics’ founder and CTO, said the company’s design was well-suited for shipborne operations ‘where windy conditions and tight spaces challenge other VTOL aircraft during take-offs and landings’.

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