Airbus’ UH-72 Unmanned Logistics Connector Sets Its Sights On The USMC’s Future Fleet Requirements

Carl Forsling, Senior Business Development Manager for Airbus U.S. Space & Defense details the company’s plans for offering the U.S. Marine Corps an unmanned variant of the UH-72B Lakota to meet a rapid fielding requirement under the new Aerial Logistics Connector initiative. Airbus’ platform will support a rapid prototyping effort and field Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) logistics platforms by the end of the decade.

The USMC has three families of unmanned aerial systems in the logistics space. The family includes small quad-copters, the medium-size incorporates larger systems that can carry less than 1,000 pounds. The UH-72 Unmanned Logistics Connector sits at the top end of the payload capability range as a large UAS, offering the ability to haul up to approximately 4,000 pounds of cargo. The Lakota’s large cabin can be stripped of its cockpit to offer a cavernous internal carriage capacity. This is in addition to an ability to sling-load outsized cargo, all without a human onboard.

The UH-72 currently serves with the U.S. Army in a training, homeland defense, search and rescue and utility role and with the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School as a trainer. As such, the uncrewed Lakota would leverage existing commonality in maintenance, spare parts, and training, allowing the Pentagon to save both money and personnel.

Here’s what Forsling had to say about Airbus’ UH-72 unmanned logistics connector offering (here is the direct link if the video below does not propagate on your browser):