The US Department of Defense is proposing the design, development and possible demonstration of unmanned air vehicles optimised for aero-medical support and evacuation roles, possibly in support of the US Army's Future Combat Systems programme. The effort would explore autonomous take-off, landing and navigation, including use in urban and wooded terrain.

The proposed air vehicle would be able to carry 227kg (500lb), including a life support for trauma and transport (LSTAT) pod weighing 77kg and a soldier of up to 136kg. The DoD says LSTAT units have proved "critical to life support during combat casualty stabilisation and evacuation", but are too heavy for routine use by medics. A reduced-weight critical care system for trauma and transport is currently under development.

Source: Flight International