The Air Force needs a low-cost, expendable, autonomous cargo drone to carry out resupply in contested airspace. Though the 3-ton payload Lockheed/Kaman K-MAX autonomous cargo helicopter is too high-end, the U.S. Marine Corps has operationally demonstrated the concept’s reliability in Afghanistan since 2011. Yet something like the SOCOM/MMIST CQ-10A/BSnowgoose costs less than $1 million and is capable of carrying 600 pounds of cargo 200 kilometers (120 miles).
The self launch variant or “BRAVO” SnowGoose UAV system has vertical take off and near vertical landing capability, is designed to be operated from unprepared launch and landing sites and has unmattched flexibility with regard to operating location and terrain. The CQ-10B variant is an incremental upgrade to the existing CQ-10A system.