Camp Lejeune testing high-powered drones

Published: Jun. 23, 2016 at 10:14 PM EDT
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Drones are known for their ability to capture footage of sights and sounds from high above, but now they might be able to help out those on the battlefield.

At Camp Lejeune, drones are being researched for potential wartime capabilities.

The drones are called Picatinny Palets, meaning they are high speed, very durable drones that are now being tested for their ability to execute resupply missions to those out on the battlefields.

Thursday morning, the 2nd Marine Logistics Group and the 25th Combat Logistics Regiment in conjunction with the Army Research Laboratory conducted a demonstration to assess the potential of using resupply drones out on the battle field or in installation force protection scenarios.

The drone that was demonstrated was the Drone 3 Hoverbike. It has an aluminum steel frame, stainless steel sheet metal covers, is battered operated and only weighs just over 4.5 pounds.

The drone can reach a speed of up to 45 mph and can travel five miles one way, five miles back and can travel a mile high.

"It's important for the Marine Corps to have this technology because it cuts down on the risks to the Marines to transport, it cuts down on any fuel requirements, and it cuts down on any personnel requirements in order to do convoys," says LCpl Zachary Black, one of the drone operators.

In January, the Marine Corps hopes to have the 200 pound drone ready for demonstration and testing.

When these drones will be put in action out in the field is not clear yet, but the hope is for them to become an integral role in resupply missions and for humanitarian aid.

The equipment for operating the drones is minimal as it can be done through the drone's controller or a tablet.