Zipline, a startup hired by the U.S. Defense Innovation Unit and the Naval Medical Research Center's Naval Advanced Medical Development, has demonstrated how next-generation delivery drones could bring medical and other supplies to the battlefield.
During four exercises conducted in Australia in August, Zipline drones flew under live rounds to drop small parachute packages at their destinations.
In total, the drones flew 461 day and night sorties and made 381 drops.
The tests marked the first time a U.S. Marine Air-Ground Task Force had incorporated autonomous drone delivery into their high availability, disaster recovery planning.
The drones can fill "a gap in a capability we don't have, and that's to rapidly resupply life-saving medical supplies," said Lt. Shane Kim of the Marine Corps' Combat Logistics Battalion One.
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