When it comes to drones, the Army is now thinking small.
The next new drone the service will buy is a Rucksack Portable UAS, Col. Courtney Cote, project manager for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), told reporters at an Association of the United States Army update on Army UAS plans. Cote’s office already has a “validated requirement” – Pentagon approval – and is now deciding how much money to ask for to buy the drone, which will be quadcopter size.
Col. Thomas von Eschenbach, director of the aviation capabilities development and integration directorate, said the Army also wants to buy weapons smaller than the AGM-114 Hellfire missile carried by its Predator-derivative MQ-1C Gray Eagle.
“We’ve asked industry to come tell us what they have and what they can provide,” von Eschenbach said. “We would like increased range. We would like something that doesn’t have to launch off the rail and have a sonic boom.”