September 30, 2019

VBAT OVER THE ATLANTIC: A VBAT vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial system (UAS) flies above the flight deck of the expeditionary fast transport vessel USNS Spearhead. VTOL “drones” small and large can be used for surveillance, and the caption says that’s this VBAT’s mission. In central Africa VTOL drones (comparable in size to the VBAT) have been used to carry vaccines and other critical medical supplies to remote villages. Earlier this year China’s navy began deploying a small VTOL drone on its smaller warships. Per the article, these types of VTOL drones “can operate off smaller ships and patrol boats and have better endurance and stability (in high winds) than heavier helicopter UAVs.”

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