Military bosses say the small drone can be launched by soldiers in the field – and do everything from surveillance to search and destroy missions
I’m like a (killer) bird
Army bosses have decided to look to nature for the latest in killer drones.
The Maveric, which has a bird-like design, is said to look like a bird the size of a pigeon or falcon in flight.
Made of composite material, it can fly as high as 25,000 feet and fly along at between 20 and 65 mph It weighs 2.5 pounds and can be contained within a 6-inch tube – and is simply unpacked and launched by a soldier.
It can fly for an hour, although landing is a bit of an issue – soldiers have to catch it with a net.
“There was a Special Operations requirement for a plane that had a natural, biological look — it wasn’t supposed to look DoD-ish,” Derek Lyons, vice president of sales and business development at Prioria Robotics, told Flightglobal.
“Maveric is capable of fully autonomous operation from launch to landing,” says the firm behind the drone.
“It can also be flown manually by a human pilot via a simple joystick. Maveric does not need a human pilot to fly it, only an operator to define mission parameters, such as waypoints, orbit positions and a landing point.
“Maveric can deploy at a moment’s notice, and the operator can launch and fly from a standing-up or laying-down position.”
The Florida firm won a $4.5 million contract from the U.S. Army’s Rapid Equipping Force to produce 36 Maverics earlier this year for a secret training mission – and training has already started.