USAF chief of staff sees Agility Prime aircraft fulfilling logistics missions

by Pat Host

The US Air Force’s (USAF’s) top officer views the service’s Agility Prime electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) effort as a way for the air force to develop an unmanned logistics capability.

General Charles Brown, USAF chief of staff, said on 21 October that the service has been able to use unmanned platforms to perform missions including strike and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), but not logistics. The USAF has used the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) MQ-9 Reaper medium altitude long endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for strike missions while the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk high altitude long endurance (HALE) surveillance platform has been used extensively for ISR missions.

Sabrewing Aircraft’s Rhaegal-B heavy-lift, long-range, unmanned cargo aircraft. The USAF chief of staff views Agility Prime as an opportunity to acquire an unmanned logistics platform. The service has developed unmanned aircraft for ISR and strike missions. (Sabrewing Aircraft)

Sabrewing Aircraft’s Rhaegal-B heavy-lift, long-range, unmanned cargo aircraft. The USAF chief of staff views Agility Prime as an opportunity to acquire an unmanned logistics platform. The service has developed unmanned aircraft for ISR and strike missions. (Sabrewing Aircraft)

Gen Brown said that he is often asked why the USAF needs a ‘flying car’ (the colloquial term for eVTOL platforms).

“It is less about the flying car, it is the capability that it might provide in the future to be able to do logistics for us, to move things back and forth,” Gen Brown said during a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies event.

Agility Prime platforms have capability beyond logistics. Gen Brown said that he has been approached by industry partners about performing personnel recovery in highly contested areas. Many Agility Prime platforms in development are being designed as optionally manned.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/usaf-chief-of-staff-sees-agility-prime-aircraft-fulfilling-logistics-missions

The US Air Force’s (USAF’s) top officer views the service’s Agility Prime electric vertical takeoff ...

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