I know that we have read on how the military has made more and more use of drones these days on the battlefield and in the theater of war, and will continue to do so, but a drone is nowhere near the size of an actual Black Hawk helicopter. This is what makes the Optionally Piloted Black Hawk (OBPH) all the more impressive, where this specially developed system for Sikorsky’s Manned/Unmanned Resupply Aerial Lifter (MURAL) Program allows one to control the entire Black Hawk helicopter from the ground itself.
Specially worked on to see action during resupply missions in areas which are notorious for their difficulty where fixed wing aircraft are concerned, the OBPH will step in to save the day, sometimes literally. While there will still be regular controls within for onboard pilots to take over during the more critical missions, it would take a whole lot of cojones for soldiers onboard to ride in a pilotless helicopter, as the “pilot” remains safe and sound on the ground. What happens when the remote control malfunctions? Will there be battery and range issues to think of?
Thankfully, the control system known as the Matrix will help make each flight as safe as possible, as it determines many of the critical flying decisions without the need for any human input. It is almost as though you were controlling a toy, albeit on a far larger scale with more dire consequences should things go awry. [Press Release]