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Pyka Consortium to Offer Large Electric Cargo Drone to Pentagon

Pyka has collaborated with Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) to offer a large electric transport drone for US Department of Defense customers.

For this initiative, the consortium will promote its “Rumrunner” unmanned aerial system, a version of Pyka’s 22-foot (7-meter) all-electric Pelican Cargo aircraft modified through SNC’s customization solutions.

The Rumrunner is powered by a 100-kilowatt electric quad motor engine for a maximum speed of 70 knots (130 kilometers/81 miles per hour) and a range of 200 miles (320 kilometers).

It has a high-thrust super-short takeoff and landing function and a payload capacity of up to 400 pounds (181 kilograms).

A ‘Game-Changer’

Pyka wrote that the Rumrunner is expected to be a “game-changer” for tactical sustainment operations by bolstering operational energy and dynamic logistics support for warfighters in austere environments.

“We assessed a number of leading capabilities and concluded that the Pelican Cargo is significantly more capable than any other platform,” SNC Programs VP Michael Bertman stated.

“While the clean energy aspect is important, creating a more diverse, distributed, and survivable supply chain is expected to be the primary driver in terms of interest from the [Department of Defense].”

“This presents opportunities to increase the survivability of our service members, reduce risks to the force, and transform the way military operations have historically been conducted.”

Pyka Pelican Cargo
Pyka Pelican Cargo. Photo: Pyka

Recent Projects

The announcement follows Pyka’s completion of a new 110,000-square-foot (10,220-square-meter) center in California.

Located at Alameda Naval Air Station, the facility will house an autonomous electric aircraft factory and one of the company’s corporate headquarters.

In February, Pyka delivered three Pelican drones to the US Air Force for a program seeking modern electric solutions that will address different challenges across the agency.

Last year, the Pelican aircraft demonstrated its capabilities in a UK Royal Navy airborne heavy-lift challenge, marking the system’s flight in British territories for the first time.

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