Air Force branch of US ally-conducted cargo delivery operations, Silent Arrow, has announced that they have delivered their first-ever overseas deployment to the Middle East.
Silent Arrow has accomplished its first assignment using GD-2000 cargo delivery drones. The cost of the operation was around $1.5 million operational evaluation contrast.
For this mission, 26ft³ fuselage of two GD-2000s carried around 465 KG of undisclosed cargo, and the gross vehicle weight of each unit was at 689 KG, less than Silent Arrow’s certified max gross – 907 KG.
According to the organisation, two C-130s were deployed to complete this operation. Silent Arrow shared a statement and said, “Silent Arrow’s autonomous autopilot was able to command and accomplish a zero-sink rate flare during its deployment over a desert environment, demonstrating entirely autonomous flying, autonomous waypoint selection and navigation, and a zero-sink rate flare during the auto-landing process.”
As per the contract signed by the Middle East, presently 12 Block 1 GD-2000s are on the station in the country, and approximately 15 Block 2 units have been under-production at Silent Arrow’s California centre; the delivery has been scheduled for H1 2022.
So far, there have been nearly 45 Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Silent Arrow GD-2000s, and full-rate production has been scheduled to start in the next year, and it is expected that it would deliver thousands of units.
Initially, the prime goal behind the development of Silent Arrow autonomous cargo delivery aircraft was to replace US Maine Corps’s GPS-steered parachutes (JPADS). Now, the firm has signed agreements with four branches of Silent Arrow – Silent Arrow GD-2000, Silent Arrow Precision Guided Bundle, and Silent Arrow Widebody.
Last year in November, the firm made a deal with a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II to provide cargo drones for the US Air Force (USAF).