DroneDJ reports the first successful cargo transfer by drone between ships at sea, using Volansi VTOL UAS.
“The cargo deliveries – there were three of them – took place July 18 off the coast of Key West, Florida. Both its VOLY 10 and VOLY 20 series of drones were involved, with two flights covering 15 nautical miles and one flight covering one nautical mile.”
The transferred were made between USNS Burlington and USCGC William Trump, a Webber class FRC.
Presumably the landing area on the cutter was in the board open area forward of the bridge intended for vertical replenishment. This does seem to indicate the FRCs could operate a UAS with minimal changes.
The Volansi VOLY 20 (or the V-Bat) looks like it could be very useful. VOLY 20 claimed performance:
- Endurance: 6+hours
- Range: 350 miles (I presume stature miles)
- Average Speed: 65 knots
- Payload: 30 pounds
Volansi already has a contract with the Air Force as part of their Skyborg Vangard program. My only reservation, from this brief review, is that it is gas powered rather than diesel.
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Another similar, but in some ways more demanding test. https://www.dvidshub.net/news/402552/naval-air-warfare-center-teams-up-with-military-sealift-command-test-unmanned-aerial-system-concept-maritime-environment
A demonstration for senior leadership. http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php/naval-news/naval-news-archive/2021/november/10983-us-navy-will-use-unmanned-aircraft-systems-to-resupply-cargo.html
“Navy to Deploy Up to Four Cargo Drones on an Aircraft Carrier this Year”