Saturday, April 20, 2024

US military uses revolutionary V-Bat drone during exercises in Japan

The U.S. military showcased the Shield AI’s innovative V-Bat drone during recent expeditionary advance base operation exercises at W-174 Joint Okinawa Range Complex, Irisuna Island, Okinawa, Japan, on February 2, 2024.

This demonstration highlighted the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit’s (MEU) proficiency in gathering maritime and airspace intelligence through the deployment of advanced radars, transmitting critical data to commanders aboard the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6). As the sole continuously forward-deployed MEU of the Marine Corps, the 31st MEU serves as a flexible and formidable force, primed to execute various military operations as the primary crisis response unit in the Indo-Pacific region.

The V-Bat drone represents a groundbreaking advancement in unmanned aircraft technology, featuring vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities without requiring specialized infrastructure. Its compact design facilitates effortless deployment, transportation, and operation, while its single-engine ducted fan propulsion system eliminates the need for launch and recovery support equipment, typical in propeller-driven VTOLs.


Equipped with VTOL capabilities and a small footprint, the V-Bat drone offers versatility in mission payloads to meet diverse civil and defense requirements. Its open architecture network backbone allows integration with emerging applications and payloads, ensuring adaptability to evolving operational needs.

Shield AI reports that the V-Bat drones are deployed across 14 time zones, operating seamlessly around the clock. Despite their vertical takeoff and landing capability, these aircraft navigate horizontally like fixed-wing aircraft, enhancing their operational flexibility and efficiency.

CORRECTION: The story was corrected on February 23 to note that V-Bat V-BAT is a product of Shield AI.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Emily Ryan Miller
Emily Ryan Miller
Emily Ryan Miller is an experienced journalist with excellent analytical skills and a deep understanding of military affairs. With her professional diligence and passion for the defense theme, Emily continues to inform the world about important aspects of the military sphere and deeply understands the significance of researching and tracking military events for the public and national security.