Reliable Robotics has received a new contract from the US Air Force (USAF) to explore and study the possibility of automating large, multi-engine air assets.

The effort requires the US-based company to carry out a feasibility assessment to provide both limited and complete aircraft automation capabilities to cargo aircraft and missions.

USAF colonel Sean R McClune said: “Reliable provides capabilities that will help close logistical gaps so that the USAF can execute their role within the Joint Warfighting Concept.

“We are interested in Reliable Robotics not only for their effectiveness in supporting the warfighter in contested logistics but also for their novel approach of outfitting legacy aircraft with cutting-edge automation kits.

“This is of great value to the US Government because it will help solve the demand for short to medium-range point-to-point logistics without the need to manufacture a new aircraft, which will ensure critical logistics are available at speed and scale to all regions of the country.”

McClune informed that Reliable Robotics’ efforts to conduct this aircraft automation study will be supported by the Headquarters Air Force Mobility Functional Integration Team.

The company is also working on the development of a certifiable system that can support continuous auto-pilot engagement, requiring just a remote pilot to supervise the operations, for all the flight phases, including taxi, take-off and landing.

Reliable Robotics Government Solutions senior vice-president major general (retired) Dr David O’Brien said: “We value the Air Force as an essential mission partner.

“Our vision is to provide a remote piloting capability to a wide variety of aircraft. This contract furthers our focus on automation of large, multi-engine jet aircraft, which is an important step in our developmental roadmap.”