It’s one of the most dangerous missions on the modern battlefield — and one of the most important. Crews flying big, vulnerable and sometimes unarmed helicopters brave gunfire, bad weather and rugged terrain to snatch wounded troops from a firefight or the scene of a bomb blast.
Medical evacuation crews are some of the gutsiest people around. But to avoid another Black Hawk Down scenario — in which the rescuers also get trapped alongside the wounded — in the hottest battle zones the Pentagon sometimes grounds the medevac copters under certain conditions. Now the Army has latched onto a possible solution: replace the human copter crews with Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) drones.