Yates Electrospace Corporation (YEC), whose Silent Arrow platform is bringing disruptive innovation to the heavy payload, unmanned cargo delivery market, today announced the signing of a development contract (USSOCOM-SOF AT&L-ST-14-01-JS79) with the US Special Operations Command entitled “Silent Arrow Airdrop Development.”
Silent Arrow is the world’s first production-ready, 1-ton, autonomous cargo aircraft, which delivers up to 1,631 pounds (740 kg) of supplies at less than half the cost of JPADS with more than double the glide ratio, dramatically improved landing accuracy, zero vertical impact force and with far greater stealth.
Under the contract, USSOCOM will provide access to aircraft, test ranges and subject matter experts to establish the airworthiness and performance of Silent Arrow for resupplying tactical teams within a hostile environment, resupplying forward operating bases, and delivering critical humanitarian aid and disaster relief without the need to land or place USSOCOM aircrew in harm’s way.
USSOCOM developmental efforts under the contract are being led primarily by the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), with additional operational requirements coming from the U.S. Army 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) for Silent Arrow applications for rotorcraft and other specialized tactical support.
“This latest contract further validates the U.S. Government’s desire to close capability gaps with innovative commercial solutions from fast-acting companies,” said Yates Electrospace Corporation CEO Chip Yates. “We are currently working with our AFSOC partners to conduct several airdrops of the Silent Arrow GD-2000 from various aircraft at medium altitudes in the February-March 2020 timeframe, and at high altitudes (25,000 feet MSL) in April-May 2020.”
Designed for logistical support for both military and relief operations, Silent Arrow’s tightly integrated packaging with spring-deployed wings transported inside the fuselage, high standoff distance and low cost have led to expanded military contracts with the U.S. and allied foreign government Special Operators, as well as international aerospace & defense companies. Silent Arrow is designed for fixed-wing and rotorcraft deployment of critically needed supplies, cargo and fuel under austere operating conditions and timelines.
Specification highlights of the USSOCOM Silent Arrow GD-2000 include:
- Gross Weight: 2,000lbs (907 kg)
- Cargo Weight: 1,631lbs (740 kg)
- Cargo Volume: 26cu/ft (.75 cu/m)
- Glide Ratio: 8.4:1
- Stall Speed @1,000lbs: 62kts, @2,000lbs: 92kts
- Standoff: 40 miles
- Logistics: 28ft wingspan (4 spring-deployed wings) stowed in 2ft x 2ft x 8ft fuselage
In support of this contract, YEC is conducting additional flight testing in civilian airspace (Pendleton UAS Test Range, Pendleton Oregon) from rotorcraft sling-load and fixed-wing aircraft with deployment altitudes from as low as 1,000 feet AGL up to 5,000 feet AGL.