The US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) plans to conduct an 'Autonomous Cargo UAS (unmanned aircraft system) Experiment' to identify and evaluate proposed UAS systems' ability to autonomously deliver payloads weighing up to 50 lb (23 kg) between ships and shore locations.
NAVAIR has invited several companies to participate in the tests conducted by the command's Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) to carry reduced payloads 50 n miles, starting 25 March, at Patuxent River, Maryland.
Air vehicles will be assessed on their ability to autonomously launch from a shore location, navigate via two waypoints to a vessel making bare steerage (between 3 and 5 kt) in open water up to 25 n miles away, loiter for 10 minutes, alight on the vessel, take off again without refuelling or recharging, and return to the original launch point.
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