American technology firm Leidos has been awarded a contract to develop a new autonomous unmanned aerial resupply system for the US Marine Corps.
Dubbed the SeaOnyx, the cargo drone will deliver crucial battlefield equipment to forward-deployed ground forces.
According to the company, the system will carry up to 600 pounds (272 kilograms) to a combat area up to 100 nautical miles (185 kilometers) away.
After construction, Leidos will demonstrate a prototype of the unmanned system to the US Marine Corps.
“The ability to autonomously deliver hundreds of pounds of supplies over long ranges will be a game-changer for the warfighter,” company vice president Tim Freeman said.
“We look forward to demonstrating how the Leidos’ SeaOnyx solution will help deliver a logistics advantage to the Marines and other branches of the military.”
Work for the contract will be carried out in Colorado, Ohio, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Arizona.
The SeaOnyx is the latest drone the US Marine Corps has experimented with for cargo resupply missions.
In 2021, the service completed a capability assessment of two tactical resupply unmanned aircraft systems.
During the experiment, marine personnel replicated the full-day resupply of an infantry squadron using Survice Engineering’s TRV-150 and Chartis Federal’s MK4-RX.
After more than a year, the US Navy ordered 21 TRV-150Cs to support cargo resupply missions.