Sikorsky's Cypher unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has accumulated about 400 flight hours at the company's Development Flight Centre in West Palm Beach, Florida.

In a dramatic demonstration at the Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) site at Fort Benning, Georgia, Cypher flew down streets, landed on a building's roof and strategically placed different payloads.

Sikorsky touts the system as an important step in creating a UAV system with military and civil applications. The Cypher UAV is being developed to meet US military needs for ground and naval surveillance, communications relay and countermeasure missions. Non-defence roles include counter-narcotics, ordnance disposal, forestry, utilities, law enforcement and search-and-rescue.

For the US Army's Autonomous Rotorcraft Testbed (ASRT) programme, Cypher - with no operator input - searched and tracked man-size targets. For the US Department of Energy, Cypher used magnetometers to search and locate underground structures and tunnels in Nevada.

Source: Flight Daily News