The UK is looking for ‘an autonomous maritime airborne heavy lift capability for the Royal Navy’.
According to a ‘Request for Information’, the MoD is looking for the following: “The Ministry Of Defence (The “Authority”) is currently seeking information in order to qualify requirements and develop our understanding of the potential for the market to provide an autonomous maritime airborne heavy lift capability for the Royal Navy.
The purpose of this Request for Information (“RFI”) is to enhance the Authority’s awareness and allow for initial review of a range of maritime airborne autonomous capabilities which currently exist or are in development within the marketplace to support the development of the RN’s Autonomy network and the creation of the Future Maritime Aviation Force (FMAF, the rapid transformation of crewed aviation roles (Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, Communications, Lift and Strike) to uncrewed).
The Authority intends to use the responses to this RFI to inform future decision making regarding the potential supply of maritime autonomous airborne heavy lift capability. For clarity, this RFI is not a bidding opportunity but a means by which industry can provide information to the Authority.“
Back in June, we reported that the Royal Navy was trialling heavy lift drones to supply ships at sea.
The Royal Navy said previously that the use of unmanned air vehicles in the logistics role offers a range of advantages from reduced costs, missions being completed quicker and the ship’s company not being exposed to certain risks.
“NavyX and DARE (Discover, Analysis and Rapid Exploitation) have been working with UK drone firm Malloy Aeronautics and Planck Aerosystems in the development of the unmanned air vehicles for the purpose of moving supplies onto ships.
The heavy-lift drone has already been put through its paces in the harsh environment of the Arctic Circle in the Royal Navy’s Autonomous Advance Force exercise. In northern Norway earlier this year, it proved it could be operated safely in all conditions and could successfully deliver stores.”