Marines looking at a tilt rotor drone

V-247 Vigilant Concept Art

Popular Science:
This is the V-247 Vigilant. The drone has a maximum speed of 345 mph, though it cruises most efficiently at 205 mph. It can fly at an altitude of up to 25,000 feet, can carry up to 2,000 pounds internally, and has a maximum flight time of 17 hours or a maximum range of 1,600 statute miles (though it can’t do all of this simultaneously). Bell provides an example mission of one where it carries a 600-pound payload to a target 500 miles away, hangs around for several hours, and then returns. And “target” here is key: the Vigilant isn’t just a scout. As designed, it can fire missiles, including Hellfires and its expected replacement, the Joint Air Ground Missile. It can also carry Mk50 torpedoes, making it deadly to enemies in the sea, as well as on land.

The Vigilant weighs 16,000 pounds empty, 29,500 pounds filled to the brim with something slung beneath it, and it has a wingspan of 65 feet with a 30-foot rotor diameter. Two V-247 Vigilants can fit inside a C-17 Globemaster transport, helping them get to where they’re needed. That makes the Vigilant about half the size of the troop-carrying V-22 Osprey tiltrotor, which is small for a plane but still a Group 5 drone for the military, which includes the heaviest and fastest drones.
Hopefully, the next President will approve a budget that can afford such an important weapon.  It could be an ideal companion to the V-22 Osprey which is a tilt-rotor troop carrier.   Obama is keeping the military on a starvation diet and it is likely that Clinton would too.  Trump has promised to increase military spending.


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