New UAV fuel cells delivered to US military
Ultra Electronics, AMI (AMI) has announced that it has delivered 45 of its ROAMIO D245XR fuel cells for use by the US military in unmanned aerial systems (UAS). The contract, worth more than $2 million, was announced 31 July 2012.
According to the company, the ROAMIO D245XR ‘is the most advanced power technology available, providing unparalleled long duration flight of more than eight hours in small UAS platforms’. All branches of the US military have tested AMI fuel cells, and the company has delivered its technology to the Rapid Equipping Force (REF), the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Centre (TARDEC), and the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Centre (CERDEC).
The ROAMIO D245XR is designed and tested for integration with UAS weighing less than 25 lbs and with wingspans of approximately 12 ft. The propane fuel cell system enables these UAS to be powered anywhere in the world by locally sourced fuels.
A company spokesperson said of the delivery, ‘compared to other, larger UAS platforms, those powered by the ROAMIO D245XR can fly further and longer, as well as carry more sensors and equipment with a much smaller logistical footprint. The ROAMIO D245XR weighs significantly less than a traditional battery pack or other power source, reducing the overall weight burden of putting advanced UAS payloads and flight duration capabilities into small squads and making it possible for the system to be operated by only one or two warfighters.’
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