Testing Drone ability to deliver blood to the battlefield

| November 25, 2022

Project Convergence 22, Fort Irwin, California; U.S. Army drone delivers medical supplies. (Thiem Huynh/U.S. Army)

The U.S. Army is testing drones that could deliver blood in the battlefield. Packages with simulated blood are loaded onto Army drones. The drones fly to a test area simulating the location where the blood is needed. This exercise is a part of the Army’s continued push to find better ways to efficiently deliver medical supplies to wounded troops. America’s experiences in the Global War on Terrorism, as well observations of events in Ukraine, helped motivate the need to test drones this way.

From the Stars and Stripes:

“The need is pretty clear: making sure that whole blood is accessible to forward medics,” said Nathan Fisher, chief of medical robots and autonomous systems at the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, at Fort Detrick, Md.

Fisher’s medical supply drone, known as Project Crimson, was what flew overhead and dropped off the fake blood at Fort Irwin during a training scenario for a mass-casualty situation.

The exercise ran from late September into November and included medical personnel from the U.S. and Australian armies.

The FVR-90 drone used by the Army can take off and land vertically, and carry up to 22 pounds of temperature-controlled whole blood to troops up to 250 miles away, a TATRC statement last year said.

“This drone supports medical field care when casualty evacuation isn’t an option,” Fisher said in the statement. “It can keep whole blood and other crucial items refrigerated in the autonomous portable refrigeration unit and take it to medics in the field with wounded warriors.”

One of the bitterest lessons learned from 20 years of American wars is the necessity of preventing blood loss on the battlefield quickly, said Air Force Col. Stacy Shackelford, a doctor and chief of the San Antonio-based Joint Trauma System.

The Afghanistan War and the Russia-Ukraine war in particular were on the minds of military medical officials this summer when they developed seven recommendations for improving the Defense Department’s blood supply program, Shackelford told Stars and Stripes.

One recommendation was research into blood delivery by drone, she said.

The U.S. had complete air superiority in Iraq and Afghanistan, and troops relied on the ability to quickly and safely fly the wounded to field hospitals for emergency care. But that might not be possible in future wars with countries that have anti-air missiles and fighter jets, Shackelford said.

“I think it’s going to come down to drone delivery of blood by some type of unmanned vehicle that can fly in and drop off more blood or more bullets, whatever is needed, Shackelford said, in a statement this summer.

Stars and Stripes has additional information here.

Category: Army News

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Bet they hit the ground every time. The drones, too. Global Hawk crash site, Maryland Eastern Shore.

pax river global hawk.png
AW1 Rod

UAVs, folks. Or UASs. Not “drones.”


tah-MAY-toe, tah-MAH-toe, Rod. I didn’t fly the fuckers, and neither did you.

“And if yer stuck in UAV’s,
Then my advice to you.
Is to drink the fukkin’ bottle man,
There’s nothin’ left to do”
Dos Gringos, Jerimiah Weed


Drones used as a force for good!

Now, if we can only ensure the blood they’ll deliver is HIV-free…

Last edited 1 year ago by Anonymous
President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neande

HIV free…and Jab and Boost free as well? Those mRNA nanos, any idea if they’ll transfer person-to-person, and what their effects might be to the blood receiver?

Hey, well, everybody will just be on regular PrEP:


Maybe I missed it but was the exercise a success? And how secure are they from jamming? I’m all for doing what we have to do for our troops.


Jamming or being shot down enroute…

but if it works even 50% of the time go for it, bro!


“Jamming or being shot down enroute”

As an old Signal guy with a very long career in such matters I can assure you RF jamming is a piece o cake.
As an old duck hunter I can assure you 3 inch #4 shot
will also get er done.

Top W kone

Some options to prevent naming is to set a gps coordinate as a back up if direct control is lost. Then there is no signal to jam other than the GPS.

Or have the device use image direction guidance (use stored images of the flight path to compare with current flight.)

Another option is direct control with laser from another aircraft. You can’t jam lasers.

Higher power transmission can overcome jamming also.

Set up a way for the medic at the site to take over control when it gets in the area can reduce the effects of jamming

Shooting down will be an issue, but a bit of armor or faster movement should reduce that also.

Not perfect, but getting blood or and supplies into a fight will be a big changer.