World’s First Production 1-Ton Cargo Delivery Drone to be Scaled Down and Flown to Address New Humanitarian and Tactical Markets.
Silent Arrow announced Monday the United States Air Force, through the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), has awarded the company a contract entitled “Guided Bundle Derivative of Silent Arrow® for Side Door and Palletized Swarm Deployment at High Speeds and Altitudes” effective November 12, 2021.
Under this Small Business Innovation Research (“SBIR”) Phase II contract, the commercially successful Silent Arrow® GD-2000 (Glider, Disposable, 2000 pounds) platform will be scaled down and redesigned as a new product line called the Silent Arrow® Precision Guided Bundle (SA-PGB), which will initially be developed as an autonomous cargo delivery glider. The SA-PGB is specifically designed for side door and multi-unit (swarm) ramp deployment, compatible with a much-expanded fleet of delivery aircraft ranging from the civilian Cessna Caravan to the military C-17.
The SA-PGB will be designed and built at Silent Arrow’s headquarters in Irvine, California and 15 aircraft will be shipped to the company’s flight test center in Pendleton, Oregon for operational evaluations at the Pendleton UAS Test Range. Initial specifications include 500-pound max weight, 350-pound cargo capacity, 39 inches long and deployable from high altitudes and airspeeds.
“We’d like to thank the U.S. Special Operations community, the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Army and various other organizations who signed on to support this award for a new life-saving cargo delivery drone,” said Chip Yates, Silent Arrow’s founder and CEO. “We look forward to an exciting flight test program in 2022 and quickly getting this new capability into the hands of the warfighter and disaster relief organizations alike.”
Silent Arrow’s tightly integrated packaging with its patented spring-deployed wing system, industry-leading payload capacity, 40-mile standoff distance and low unit cost, has received enthusiastic reception from U.S. and foreign customers and is currently being delivered and operated to directly serve heavy-payload, autonomous cargo resupply needs throughout the world.