In the never-ending quest to secure American interests and protect our soldiers in a constantly evolving battlefield, researchers, scientists, and engineers have combined their efforts to upgrade the state of global defense.
One of the largest issues that the military consistently focuses on is supply chain — the backbone of any good military — aside from information.
From semi-autonomous land drones to help alleviate a number of equipment soldiers need to carry, to implementing 3D printing in the US Navy, the military is always interested in, and equipped with, forward-thinking technology.
Now drone technology and hovercraft vehicles are making waves. The U.S. Army Research Laboratory has now completed tests on a hovercraft vehicle capable of carrying up to 300 pounds.
In a demonstration of their technology shown below, the vehicle is designed off of a four rotor system similar to personal drones found commercially in the market.
The hoverbike, designated as the Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle (JTARV) prototype, was created to address resupply concerns for soldiers who are out on the field away from supply lines.
Instead of having a large vehicle which can only navigate roads, the JTARV can quickly deliver equipment through the air.
According to Ernesto Garcia Lopez, Innovation Program Manager of Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center in Picatinny, New Jersey in conversation with officials from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory,
“This project was successful because we went from a concept development to an engineering evaluation..It was done in collaboration with various government agencies [and] industry in a very short time.”
Now, while the JTARV was designed with a rider in mind, it lacks the obvious defensive properties that Armored Supply Vehicles and caravans provide.
Autonomous drones could conduct the same function without placing a rider in danger, this level of superiority when it comes to rapid response for supplies in the field, without the need of an entire caravan or aerial supply drop, is a step up from traditional means.
However you may see it, the future of warfare is changing.