Anduril Unveils New VTOL Autonomous Air Vehicles

Roadrunner and its Roadrunner-M variant are modular, VTOL, twin-jet powered autonomous air vehicles with extraordinary performance at low cost By Abi Wylie / 01 Dec 2023
Anduril Unveils New VTOL Autonomous Air Vehicles
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Anduril Industries has unveiled its Roadrunner and Roadrunner-Munition (Roadrunner-M) VTOL autonomous air vehicles

Roadrunner is a modular, twin-jet powered autonomous air vehicle with extraordinary performance at low cost. Vertical takeoff and landing capability gives Roadrunner the flexibility to rapidly launch from and return to any location, pairing high subsonic speed with exceptional agility and stability. 

Like all Anduril products, Roadrunner is designed to be future proof. The modular payload system can carry a variety of payloads to accomplish broad sets of missions and can be constantly updated to meet the threats of tomorrow.

Roadrunner-M is a high-explosive interceptor variant of Roadrunner for ground-based air defense that can rapidly identify, intercept and destroy an array of aerial threats that are up to 100 times more expensive, or be recovered and reused at near-zero cost. 

Malicious actors are increasingly using state-owned and commercially-available drone technology to threaten the personnel, infrastructure and assets of the United States and the country’s allies around the world. Anduril already provides a counter UAS family of systems to protect against such threats, and Roadrunner-M is the newest addition to that family. 

Roadrunner-M was designed to address threats that extend across legacy air defense echelons, combating adversary attempts to design around gaps in current air defense architectures.

Similar to traditional approaches to deter and defeat incoming aerial threats like scrambling expensive and airfield-dependent jets, Roadrunner-M can take off, follow, and intercept distant targets at the first hint of danger, giving operators more information and time to assess the target and rules of engagement. 

If there is no need to destroy the target, Roadrunner-M can simply return to base and land at a pre-designated location for immediate refueling and reuse. If the target does need to be destroyed, Roadrunner-M will swiftly do so. Unlike legacy missile systems, you can reuse all craft that are launched but not consumed. 

This radical shift in thinking allows for large-scale defensive launches at extraordinarily low cost, increasing redundancy for higher probability of lethality and enhancing the ability to simultaneously engage many targets.

Roadrunner-M’s performance capacity is far superior than competing air defense solutions and is already an overmatch capability against current and emerging threats. Its employment methodology significantly increases the operator’s engagement decision space which is critically constrained with current capabilities. 

Roadrunner-M innovations include faster launch and take-off timing, three times the warhead payload capacity, ten times the one way effective range, and is three times more maneuverable in G force, compared to similar offerings on the market. A single operator can launch and supervise multiple Roadrunner or Roadrunner-M squadrons. 

Roadrunner-M can be controlled by Lattice, Anduril’s AI-powered software suite for command and control, or be fully integrated into existing air defense radars, sensors, and architectures to provide immediately deployable capability.

Roadrunner is ready to deploy today and Anduril looks forward to continuously iterating on this technology for military forces around the world. Roadrunner went from a napkin sketch to an operationally validated and fieldable solution in less than two years, which is much faster than most traditional defense contractor timelines. 

Anduril uses its own money for research and development, which means it can outpace competitors and deliver operationally ready capabilities within a fraction of usual timeframes.

Posted by Abi Wylie Connect & Contact
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