US Marines Testing Disposable Drone

Discussion in 'U.S. Marine Corps' started by Pathfinder, Apr 20, 2017.

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  1. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    U.S. Marines Testing Disposable Delivery Drones

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    By Evan Ackerman
    Posted 17 Apr 2017

    The US Marine Corps is testing disposable drones as a means of delivering supplies, reports IEEE Spectrum.

    The engineless Tactical Air Delivery (TACAD) drones are primarily made of plywood held together with cheap metal fasteners, using consumer-grade GPS equipment and basic motors for guidance.

    Disposable aircraft challenge the traditional definition of drones and how they can be used; this flexibility, combined with reduced production costs, can lead to solutions for new problems.

    The TACAD drones will be able to carry cargo loads of up to 700 pounds, and boast operations ranges of up to 70 miles after launching out of a plane. The drone is designed to carry a payload to military units in the midst of field operations, where it can land, supplies can be retrieved, and then the drone broken down and left where it landed. This model offers an alternative to supplying troops by helicopter or using the Joint Precision Air Drop System (JPADS), which can carry a heavier cargo load, but isn’t as maneuverable as a TACAD drone, and which also forces units in the field to break down and bring the 30-pound unit with them.

    This is not the first example of the US Department of Defense looking at disposable drones. DARPA and Otherlab are developing drone templates that can use cardboard and an inexpensive motor in a similar glider format to perform smaller deliveries like carrying medical supplies. Disposable drones have a number of clear advantages in cost compared with reusable options — the reusable JPADS costs tens of thousands of dollars for each unit, while a TACAD drone would cost less than $3,000.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/us-marine-corps-is-testing-disposable-drones-2017-4
     
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  2. Kat

    Kat 1st Lieutenant

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    "Marines testing disposable drone, miss huge opportunity to fill them with explosives and make low cost precision guided munitions."

    Pretty cool idea though. The design is basically a wing set strapped onto a cargo drum.

    [​IMG]

    LG-1000, from which it looks like the Marine's throw-away cargo drone is derived has undergone test flights and seems to perform well.



    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Red_Fire

    Red_Fire Officer Candidate

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    It is reminiscent of the "Kettering Bug," one hundred years ago.
     
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  4. BlueHawk

    BlueHawk Captain

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    Drones also have the options to bring in resupply with out the soldiers to leave there position. Down side with both is. The more advance enemy u fight the more difficulties you will have to bring in the supply safe.


    Look at this beauty

     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
  5. Red_Fire

    Red_Fire Officer Candidate

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    Agree, but this concept is not new (other than the different advancements / changes in the airframes). The USMC has been using the unmanned K-Max in operations since 2011. It will be interesting to see unmanned systems (aerial, surface, and sub-surface) progress, I believe we are at the leading edge of this technological shift in employment. UAS can be used for much more than imagery and strikes. On a different note, we should be expecting adversaries to be developing this technology as well, spurring a requirement for improvements in air defense. I often read about the latest UAS advancements, but rarely hear about any concurrent advancements in air defense.
     
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