C4ISRNET: Where Army aviation’s going, it doesn’t need roads. Or runways, or plains, or any of the other vital-yet-unreliable stretches of flat, open ground. As the Army looks to replace its venerable RQ-7 Shadow drones, it’s looking at designs that can perform the same mission, but without a reliance on runways. One such design in contention is the V-BAT, a vertical-takeoff and landing drone designed in collaboration by MartinUAV and Northrop Grumman.
“Runway independence became a desire for a special operations and all the other services because of the austere environments ever find themselves in,” said Heath Niemi, vice president global sales and development MartinUAV. “And the limitations of range based on having to be confined to a runway to return to.”