The US Air Force has awarded DZYNE Technologies an $89.4 million contract to develop swarms of air-launched unmanned gliders for precision payload delivery to the battlefield.
The Small Payload Precision Air-Launched Inexpensive Delivery System contract runs through June 15, 2027.
The California-based unmanned aircraft developer responded to a 2019 air force solicitation to improve the service’s “small-payload precision delivery capability at long standoff ranges,” as the existing military and commercial platforms had not fully met the service’s expectations.
Precision Payload Delivery
The inexpensive, reusable unmanned aircraft is intended to deliver 25 pounds (11.3 kilograms) of payload, including “sensitive electronics such as handheld radios or delicate medical supplies” to support “combat search and rescue, personnel recovery and special operations.”
The aircraft is expected to deliver the payload to a 10x10ft (3x3m) target zone from a standoff range of 100 miles (161 kilometers).
Moreover, it should be launchable from various fixed and rotary-wing aircraft without integration from a height of up to 45,000 feet (13,716 meters) and speed of 515 miles (829 kilometers) per hour. The aircraft should ideally be launched through a door and optionally by ramp.