US Army testing launching ALTIUS drone from Polaris DAGOR ultralight tactical vehicle

The U.S. Army is testing the launching of an Area-I small Agile-Launch Tactically Integrated Unmanned System drone, or ALTIUS, from a Polaris DAGOR ultralight tactical vehicle, Thomas Newdick reports in The Drive.
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Launching of an ALTIUS 600 drone from a Polaris DAGOR (Picture source: official Twitter page of the U.S. Army Future Vertical Lift Cross-Functional Team)

A photo posted on Twitter by the Future Vertical Lift Cross-Functional Team shows an ALTIUS launched from one of two Area-I Pneumatically Integrated Launch System (PILS) mounted on a Polaris Dagor ultra-light tactical vehicle. According to Area-I, which was acquired by Anduril Industries in April, the ALTIUS-600 has also been launched in the past from C-130, AC-130J, P-3, and civilian aircraft, as well as from undisclosed ground vehicles.

ALTIUS-600 is part of the ALTIUS family of autonomous tube-launched UAS, or Air-Launched Effects (ALE) that are delivered as all-up-rounds (AUR) and available on-demand and operational within minutes. ALTIUS-600 supports Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) system that can be launched from the air, sea, and ground from systems like the Common Launch Tube (CLT), Pneumatically Integrated Launch System (PILS), the Reconfigurable Integrated-weapons Platform (RIwP). and other launch systems.

ALTIUS provides the ability to perform extended-endurance and multi-agent missions with a wide array of payload options. ALTIUS was designed with a modular payload nose to give customers an on-demand UAS solution with a sensor or payload package to meet specific mission needs. ALTIUS-600 has demonstrated successful integration and launch from C-130A, AC-130J, UH-60, P-3, civilian aircraft, ground vehicles, and others..

The DAGOR (Deployable Advanced Ground Off-Road), produced by the Government & Defense division of Polaris, was an unlucky competitor for the Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) program that saw GM win. However, the 82nd Airborne Division had at least some DAGORs ; one of these vehicles from that batch, or another previous evaluation of the type, might have been used in this ALTIUS test, Thomas Newdick writes.

By employing vehicle-launched small drones in significant numbers, the Army could expand its capabilities for missions including ISR and electronic warfare, as well as launch loitering “suicide drones” to attack targets in networked autonomous swarms, Thomas Newdick comments.


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