The U.S. Marine Corps is looking to use a Bell-made unmanned tiltrotor aircraft for efforts to protect naval ships, according to officials, Military.com reported Wednesday. Commandant Gen. David Berger, USMC commandant, said the service branch is exploring ways marines can defend ships and not remain passive during naval operations, according to Col.
Kurt Schiller’s statement at the Modern Day Marine 2019 expo. Schiller directs the USMC Combat Development Directorate’s maritime expeditionary warfare division. The service branch is contemplating the possibility of utilizing Bell’s V-247 Vigilant autonomous aircraft to address ship protection needs.
Similar in size to a Huey helicopter, the tiltrotor drone will have a 10-hour operation time. Vigilant’s prototype is visually a downsized version of the existing V-22 Osprey aircraft that allows for both short and vertical takeoff and landing. Bell worked with Boeing to develop and produce Osprey.