Man-Portable, Multi-Tool Drones Coming to Ground Troops Near You

Persistent overwatch and payload deliveries are just a sample of the capabilities the Aeryon Defense R80D SkyRaider drone offers ground forces.

October 8, 2018

The potential of man-portable drones for ground troops is enormous.

From reconnaissance to communications relay and delivering small payloads, man-portable drones have already proven their flexibility on the battlefields of Syria and Ukraine this decade.

Now, defense contractors are jumping into the fray to offer something purpose-built for the U.S. military.

Aeryon Defense is one such firm. Its new R80D SkyRaider series of drones is looking to fill the gap designers see in the small unmanned aircraft system market.

SkyRaider is designed for vertical takeoff and landing, offers a small footprint in the field, an open architecture and powerful artificial intelligence computing to track targets, as well as the ability to deliver payloads up to 4.4 pounds and provide persistent overwatch for friendly forces.

The drone was shown publicly for the first time this spring and made the rounds this week at the Association of the United States Army conference in Washington, D.C.

“We localized this product for the U.S. Department of Defense,” Mark Holden, Aeryon Defense’s director of defense solutions, told Army Times. “We wanted it to be modular, we wanted it to be man-portable, we wanted it to rugged and we wanted it to have some legs in the technology space, meaning that for many years we could continue iterating on it with non-material solutions.”

Read the full article from Army Times here