ANCILLARY Program: Developing Vertical Take-off Drones

Published Categorized as Aviation News No Comments on ANCILLARY Program: Developing Vertical Take-off Drones

To enhance the capabilities of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, the ANCILLARY program Advanced Aircraft Infrastructure-Less Launch and Recovery aims to develop innovative uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) that can operate primarily from ships without needing extensive infrastructure for launch and recovery.

These drones are required to be lightweight, carry up to a 60-pound payload, travel distances up to 518 miles, and sustain a 12-hour endurance.

DARPA announced in the summer of 2023 that nine companies, including AeroVironment, AVX Aircraft, Griffon Aerospace, Karem Aircraft, Leidos, Method Aeronautics, Northrop Grumman, Piasecki Aircraft, and Sikorsky, are competing in this program. Recently, some of these companies advanced to the next phase, showcasing their drone designs.

ANCILLARY Program (AeroVironment)

AeroVironment, renowned for their military drones like the Raven, Puma AE, and JUMP, has introduced the Wildcat, a tail-sitting VTOL aircraft tailored for the Navy’s challenging maritime operations.

While complete details about the Wildcat remain under wraps, it incorporates machine learning-enabled computer vision for ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) missions.

It can reach speeds exceeding 115 mph (185 kph) and operates cohesively within a fleet, utilizing collision avoidance systems. Although DARPA targets having a functional drone by 2026, it is still uncertain which designs will ultimately be produced.


By Annie Linardos

I'm a journalist student and completed my masters in Journalism and Mass Communication. With a strong track record as an intern at Mathrubhumi News and The New Indian Express as a reporter and content writer, I'm creative, motivated, and have a keen eye for the truth and attempting to use the expertise and talents to contribute to the emerging field of journalism. I have also been working as a freelance writer and have the capability of producing interesting and bold articles.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments