Silent Arrow has secured a contract to scale down its GD-2000 cargo delivery unmanned aerial system (UAS) for undisclosed US military operations.

Awarded by the US Air Force (USAF), the contract is titled ‘Feasibility of Downsizing and Adapting Commercial Silent Arrow Cargo Delivery UAS to Meet Specific AFSOC Operational Requirements’.

Silent Arrow noted that the small business innovation research (SBIR) contract will be executed in cooperation with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

USAF innovation programme AFWERX will fund the contract.

Silent Arrow founder and CEO Chip Yates said: “This contract creates a new Silent Arrow product line, custom-tailored to one of the specific needs of the special operations community.

“We are pleased with the airforce’s vision and decisiveness in driving this life-saving asset into the hands of the warfighter.”

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The Silent Arrow GD-2000 platform is a disposable unmanned glider with a cargo-carrying capacity of more than 1,600lb. It features a spring-deployed wing design for easy transport.

Under the contract, the company will work on downsizing the UAS for compatibility with CV-22 Osprey aircraft cargo ramps and smaller fixed-wing side-door deployments.

Following the latest SBIR contract, the US Government will acquire the Silent Arrow heavy payload cargo UAS on a sole-source basis.

It will be used for special operations and tactical resupply, humanitarian aid and disaster relief.