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Orbital signs MoU with Skyways

1st November 2021 - 14:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Autonomous cargo transport specialist Skyways has tested its capabilities with the USN. (Photo: Skyways)

Orbital UAV expects to play a part in a USN unmanned cargo transportation programme.

Australia-based Orbital UAV has signed an MoU with Skyways, a US firm specialising in unmanned cargo transport.

Under the terms of the MoU, Orbital UAV stated on 28 October that it will ‘deliver a pre-production, heavy fuel engine to Skyways for integration into the company’s next generation unmanned air system (UAS) and subsequent flight testing’.

Skyways has been selected by the USN Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division to provide and demonstrate a UAS prototype for long-range naval ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore cargo transport.

The selection process required industry to demonstrate potentially viable commercial platforms that could autonomously transport a 20lb (9kg) payload to a vessel about 370km away.

Today, helicopters and V-22 tiltrotor aircraft undertake ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore logistics delivery operations for the USN, but it regards unmanned platforms as more promising and a better use of resources.

Todd Alder, CEO and MD of Orbital UAV, said: ‘Skyways continues to develop its platform to meet challenging requirements, including the platform’s ability to run efficiently on heavy fuel.’

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