The U.S. Army, like millions of “Star Wars” fans around the world, sees value in hoverbike technology.
Malloy Aeronautics (MA) of the United Kingdom and its U.S. partner SURVICE Engineering have been awarded a contact with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory to develop hoverbikes as a multirole tactical reconnaissance vehicle.
“It can do so much inexpensively and effectively as a multipurpose product that can be flown manned or unmanned. It’s absolutely ideal. It’s inexpensive, it can carry a decent load, it can get in and out of very small spaces very quickly, and it can be moved across continents very quickly because it can be folded and packed into a C130 or onto a ship and taken; lots of them can be moved around and deployed in the places that you need them very easily and very quickly,” said Grant Stapleton, Malloy’s marketing sales director, Reuters reported Monday. The company has done defense research for 30 years.
Mark Butkiewicz from SURVICE spoke about the Pentagon’s interest in the company’s hoverbike at the Paris Air Show.
“The Department of Defense is interested in Hoverbike technology because it can support multiple roles. It can transport troops over difficult terrain, and when it’s not used in that purpose it can also be used to transport logistics, supplies, and it can operate in both a manned and unmanned asset. It can also operate as a surveillance platform,” Mr. Butkiewicz said, Reuters reported. The Maryland-based company, which has already demonstrated proof of concept, will now begin work on prototypes that meet military requirements.
Malloy Aeronautics says it currently has a hoverbike that is capable of lifting close to 600 pounds and can fly close to 100 miles on a single tank of gas, Reuters reported.
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