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Silent Arrow Delivers 1,026 Pounds of Cargo Autonomously Overseas

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January 31, 2022

Silent Arrow, which develops autonomous cargo drones, has announced that the air force of a U.S. allied government in the Middle East conducted the first overseas deployment of the Silent Arrow GD-2000 cargo delivery drone, under a $1.5 million operational evaluation contract. In the operation, 1,026 lbs (465 kg) of an undisclosed cargo was secured inside two GD-2000s, bringing the vehicle weight of each aircraft to 1,520 lbs (689 kg), which is below the certified maximum gross of 2,000 lbs (907 kg).

Two C-130s were used in the operation, during which the two GD-2000s were rigged in accordance with U.S. military standards for Container Delivery System (CDS) bundles, Silent Arrow said. The deployment occurred over a desert environment, where Silent Arrow demonstrated completely autonomous flight, autonomous waypoint selection and navigation. During the auto-landing sequence, the autonomous autopilot was able to command and achieve a zero-sink rate flare, the company added.

Silent Arrow said a series of 12 Block 1 GD-2000s are currently on station in the Middle East in support of the contract, with 15 Block 2 aircraft in production at the company’s Irvine, Calif. Facility, expected to ship in the first half of 2022. To date, 45 units have been built, with full rate production into the thousands expected to begin in 2023.

“As we prepare for mass production, it’s encouraging to see foreign allied governments as enthusiastic about the new capabilities Silent Arrow brings to the warfighter as the U.S. military has been,” said Chip Yates, the founder and CEO of Silent Arrow. “We have distribution agreements in place for 37 countries so far, and are working hard to become the worldwide standard for airdrop logistics.”

Originally designed to replace GPS-steered parachutes under contract from the U.S. Marine Corps, the Silent Arrow series of autonomous cargo delivery drones expanded to three platforms, based on military tactical resupply requirements. These platforms include:

  • GD-2000 (26 cubic feet for up to 1,500 lbs of payload)
  • Widebody (140 cubic feet for greater than 1,500 lbs of payload)
  • Precision Guided Bundle (7.6 cubic feet for 350 lbs of payload)

The company’s drones also include a spring-deployed wing system and 40+ mile standoff distance. For more details on the company and its technologies, visit the Silent Arrow website here.

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