Ares, the drone of the US Marine Corps that is able to transport a jeep

Ares, the drone of the US Marine Corps that is able to transport a jeep

Piloted directly from a smartphone or tablet, the vehicle was designed by Lockheed Martin and financed by Darpa. Its maiden flight is scheduled for 2015

A drone that is able to transport a military jeep. This is the idea on which the ARES, the Aerial Reconfigurable Embedded System, is based on; the Ares is the new unmanned aerial logistics system designed by the American firm Lockheed Martin. The project, financed by DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (part of the US Department of Defense), is at its last stage: the prototype shall fly next year.

In the video: Ares' first renders

The Ares has two reclinable rotors that allow it to take off as a helicopter and to fly at an airplane high cruise speed. It was designed for carrying different types of loads in war zones, its operations consisting in extraction, surveillance, and reconnaissance. It can transport up to 1360 kg, more than 40% of its takeoff weight. Furthermore, soldiers can pilot the Ares directly through a smartphone or tablet app.

“The goal of the project is to provide a flexible and efficient transport vehicle that can help troops to avoid the dangers on the ground – explains Ashish Bagai, Darpa’s Program Manager -. The Ares will improve the economic efficiency of our operations, as well as increase the possibility of success of each mission.”

The idea that led to the development of the Ares came in 2009 under the name of Transformer, in honour of the American blockbuster. The initial project concerned a vehicle that was able to move on the ground and take off, transporting up to four people. While working on the project, they chose to focus on a drone, leaving the ability of operating on the ground aside, but earning the possibility of raising heavy loads and picking up other vehicles, enhancing the safety of risky operations.

At present, Lockheed Martin and Darpa are dealing with the final phase of the project, which consists in the actual production of the first prototype.

 

In this article

ares, darpa, drone, lockheed martin, marines, uav

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