The U.S. Navy conducts drone delivery to moving warships

| December 30, 2022

The Navy conducted a drone delivery demonstration at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. They flew unmanned aerial systems carrying cargo that weighed under 50 pounds consisting of 90% of the deliveries pushed through the Navy’s logistics system. These drones were tested for their ability to do ship-to-ship, ship-to-shore, and shore-to-ship transits.

From the EurAsian Times:

The demonstration was carried out at an event at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in St. Inigoes, Maryland, according to the press release issued by the NAWCAD on December 21.

It involved multiple unmanned aerial systems (UAS) delivering cargo weighing less than 50 pounds (22.68 kilograms), constituting 90% of navy logistics deliveries.

Skyways Air Transportation, Inc. and Martin UAV developed the drones used in the demonstration. During the demonstration, they conducted ship-to-ship, ship-to-shore, and shore-to-ship flights over 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers).

These drones are capable of vertical-take-off-and-landing from most naval ships and therefore do not need dedicated equipment for launch and recovery.

“We see an increase in manned and unmanned logistics. For the Marine Corps, the Commandant is enthusiastic about where we are going with unmanned logistics and is beginning conversations about operations and contested environments. The Navy is currently identifying areas where unmanned logistics would be a critical enabler to operations at sea. The Blue Water Maritime Logistics UAS is a great demonstration of this emerging requirement,” said Col. Victor Argobright, PMA-263 program manager.

Historically, logistics-related issues like electronic parts or assemblies have often been the cause behind warships moving to non-mission capable or partially mission capable status, according to the data from the US Navy’s casualty reports.

Unmanned Drone Cargoes, Economical & Efficient?

Currently, tactical aircraft like the H-60 helicopter and V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft fly these missions. However, the service considers them less efficient and much more costly.

“Say you have a small component on radar, broken on an Aegis-class ship. We can now use an unmanned system to go from the big deck – whether it’s an MSC ship or from the carrier – out to a small boy in a relatively short amount of time, and we do not have to reschedule and recycle a helo,” Tony Schmidt, director of rapid prototyping, experimentation, and demonstration at NAWCAD, told USNI News in April 2022 at the Navy League’s annual Sea-Air-Space symposium.

The Eurasian Times has additional information on this story.

Below is a YouTube video, by the Sacramento Bee, showing Intel’s effort to break the drone record for showing fireworks like displays.

Category: Navy

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So instead of Deck Department shooting the lines over, we have the drones carry them over for the Rep stations ship-to-ship.

Okay. That’s neat, I guess?

jeff LPH 3 63-66

How about when the Flag was onboard, he tried using a golf ball as a shot line. If I remember, a football was also tried.


Anyone paying attention to the Ukraine has come to the realization that it is all going to be drones and smart munitions in the future. The future being as soon as it can can get built.


Had a captain tell me that in the ’80s. She even made general eventually. Been hearing it for decades, and still don’t believe it. Toys might help take territory, but men hold it.


Soldiers can’t hold ground when the are running away, leaving all their shit behind.


It’ll be interesting to find out if the ships will need to be at flight quarters, maneuvering for winds, etc., in order to recover and launch these things.

If so, drone operations will need to be closely coordinated/integrated with the ships’ day-to-day operations and associated Air Plans, which could end up being a bigger headache than anticipated when “real world” events start to intrude as they always do when conducting flight operations (of any kind) out at sea.


Flight Quarters? Oh hell yes! I want to see what happens when the thing gets into a high RF environment. Say, around ships.

Also, from a small-boy stand-point, think the padre will fly in a drone for Sunday Services, or the Holy Helo?


It is a good point, especially say 25 years ago. But today most military higher quality drones today have AI and programming so that when they lose contact they simply do their mission anyway. Some are more vulnerable than others but it would take a large amount of directed energy to take one down.

Right now the only state actors with that known capability are the US and Israel.


Welp, at least these aircraft have the engines/wings(?) mounted properly…on top!

(ducks a thrown flight helmet and flies out of the danger zone before our Beloved AW1Ed loses that lovin’ feelin’)