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US Army launched the first flight of Martin UAV V-BAT


Soldiers assigned to 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) launched the first flight of the Martin UAV V-BAT at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, as part of the Army Futures Command (AFC)-directed Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (FTUAS) capabilities assessment.

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US Army launched the first flight of Martin UAV V BAT

US Army launched the first flight of Martin UAV V BAT 03

US Army launched the first flight of Martin UAV V BAT 04 (Picture source: Official Twitter page of the U.S. Army Future Vertical Lift Cross-Functional Team)


Announced in December 2019, the assessment will evaluate selected unmanned aircraft systems to define the capabilities needed in the next generation UAS for brigade combat teams. Data gathered during the assessment will be critical to determining the requirements for the RQ-7 Shadow replacement.

Future Unmanned Aircraft Systems is a signature effort within the Army’s Future Vertical Lift Modernization priority. The Program Executive Office for Aviation’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project Office in collaboration with Army Futures Command is leading the capabilities assessment.

The V-BAT aircraft is designed with sufficient payload capacity to carry a range of interchangeable payloads based on mission-specific requirements. Some payloads include EO/IR, AIS, land and maritime surveillance, SIGINT and 4G/LTE.

- Speed Range: 100+ kms
- Payload Weight: 8+ lbs payload assembly (on top of max endurance fuel weight)
- Airspeed: 47 kt max endurance, 90 kt dash
- Wind Limitations: 20 kt + 5 kt gust spread

The Army selected two other unmanned aircraft systems in 2019 as candidates to replace the Shadow: Arcturus UAV JUMP 20 Textron Aerosonde HQ, that already made its first Soldier-operated flight with the Army’s 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team on April 2020, and and L3 Harris FVR-90.


US Army launched the first flight of Martin UAV V BAT 02 Spc. Christopher McCoy assigned to 1st Engineer Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, conducts an engine start on the JUMP 20 prior to a launch during the FTUAS capabilities assessment at Fort Riley, Kansas, April 8, 2020 (Picture source: Program Executive Office Aviation)