STATES CHRONICLE – With technology being advanced enough in so many fields, why not have drones built to land on small ships for the US Navy.
This year, drones have particularly received a lot of attention as they have become more and more available to the public. Of course, common people mostly use them as toys for entertainment, but let’s not forget that these toys were first used by the military forces or federal agencies mostly for espionage.
However, even for them, given the rate at which they need to use a drone, the devices were too expensive and a bit out of reach. Thankfully, after the recent massive breakthrough, the US Navy is planning to use drones for surveillance.
The reason is obvious: they are smaller and lighter. Besides, they can also be launched from or land on any type of surface, without needing a runway. Actually, this was the major problem the navy had. Many of their reconnaissance or surveillance missions were done using small airplanes.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t really matter how small the aircraft is as long as it still need space to launch from or land on. This is why navy planes took off from runways found on aircraft carriers. These carriers were specially built for this purpose.
DARPA and contractor Northrop Grumman are building long-endurance drones which will eventually replace the existing surveillance planes as well as the aircraft carriers. Although it is quite an investment at $93 million, it would bring gain to the navy on long term.
Of course airplanes will still be used in different missions and some aircraft carriers will be kept, but being mostly replaced by drones, it will save the navy lots of money which used to go into the ships maintenance.
The drone will look like a single wing of an airplane that will have some stabilizers and two propellers attached in the fronts which will counter rotate. As for its main most wished for feature, the drone will be taking off just like a helicopter, fly horizontally and then turn back to base and land vertically.
The project’s objective is to create a drone that could take off from closed spaces and fly even in bad weather conditions. If the project is successful it can revolutionize the way the US Navy leads reconnaissance and surveillance missions.
Image source: tech.citynewsline.com