Leidos, Elroy Air to test resupply drone for U.S. Marine Corps

Leidos and Elroy Air scheduled to demonstrate Elroy Air’s Chaparral system at U.S. Army Yuma proving ground in Arizona

Leidos, Elroy Air to test resupply drone for U.S. Marine Corps
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NYSE-listed Leidos and Elroy Air, an autonomous aircraft systems and software development company, have been approved to demonstrate an autonomous medium aerial resupply vehicle – expeditionary logistics (MARV-EL) prototype for the U.S. navy and marine small tactical unmanned aircraft systems programme office (PMA-263).

"The flight test activities are scheduled for July 2024. The development and testing are part of a contract awarded last year to develop and demonstrate an uncrewed aircraft system that can autonomously resupply forward-deployed ground forces for the U.S. Marine Corps," says an official release from Leidos.

Leidos and Elroy Air are scheduled to demonstrate Elroy Air’s Chaparral system at the U.S. Army Yuma proving ground in Yuma, Arizona, the release added. "The Chaparral is a lift-plus-cruise hybrid electric vertical take-off and landing (hVTOL) cargo aircraft. The Chaparral system leverages the benefits of wing-borne flight driven by electric propulsion and turbo-generation for efficient autonomous operations and longer-range missions. It is designed with an advanced carbon composite airframe and modular automated payload capabilities to help reduce the personnel required versus legacy aircraft and enable zero-touch logistics."

Tim Freeman, Senior Vice President and airborne systems business area manager, Leidos says: “Leidos is pleased to team with Elroy Air to bring this critical capability to the warfighter. Approval to proceed to test is a major milestone and is the result of months of hard work by the team. We look forward to demonstrating how the Leidos and Elroy Air MARV-EL solution will help deliver a logistics advantage to the marines and other branches of the military.”

Dave Merrill, Co-Founder and CEO, Elroy Air adds: "“We’re excited to work with Leidos to provide these critical capabilities to U.S. and allied forces. We’ve been designing Chaparral from the beginning to move cargo and resupply troops in the battlespace without putting crews in harm’s way. We look forward to demonstrating these capabilities and working toward serving the U.S. Marine Corps’ goals for expeditionary logistics.”

MARV-EL, using autonomous operations, should be the middle-weight unmanned logistics asset, providing combat sustainment to marines when ground or manned aviation assets are unavailable due to threat, terrain, weather or competing priorities, the release added.

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