Bell's new tilt-rotor combat drone aims to give Marines even more combat power — here's what it can do

BellV-247 Vigilant

Bell unveiled its futuristic vision for Marine Corps aviation last Tuesday: a tilt-rotor combat drone designed to scout for and deliver airstrikes for troops on the ground.

Earlier this year, the Corps outlined its many needs for an unmanned combat drone, a project called Marine Air Ground Task Force Unmanned Aircraft System Expeditionary, or MUX.

“As of June 2018, the mission sets for these aircraft are, in priority order, are airborne early warning, air reconnaissance, electronic warfare, communications relay, offensive air support, scout and aerial escort, and cargo,”according to The War Zone.

The Bell V-247 Vigilante, which Bell displayed at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia, appears to be one of the leading contenders.

Here’s what it can do.


The V-247 can be launched from a helicopter-carrying amphibious assault ship, a guided-missile destroyer, and even from a C-5 transport aircraft.

Bell

Source: Marine Corps Times


The Vigilante is a vertical take-off and landing drone that can configure its rotors and wings to take up as much as room as a UH-1Y Venom helicopter.

Bell

Source: The War Zone


It has a maximum speed of more than 345 mph, and a maximum altitude of 25,000 feet.

Bell

Source: Bell


It also has the speed and range to be able to escort V-22 Ospreys or the new V-280 helicopters designed for the US Army.

Bell

Source: Bell


It has a maximum internal payload of 2,000 pounds and a maximum sling load of 9,000 pounds, where the aircraft carries a load suspended beneath it via a cargo hook.

Bell

Source: Bell


And has the ability to coordinate fire missions from manned jets, ships and troops on the ground.

Bell

Source: Marine Corps Times


The Vigilante also has a camera with a “distributed aperture” so that the remote pilot can see 360 degrees around the drone.

Bell

Source: Marine Corps Times

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