The United States military is no stranger to backing futuristic technology. From anti-aging pills to robot dogs with massive rifles attached, high-tech military development is always a focus for America. That's not set to change with the newest addition to America's arsenal: a multi-environment Valkyrie eVTOL.
Valkyrie eVTOL looks sci-fi AF
Reported by New Atlas, the United States Air Force has backed Valkyrie Systems Aerospace to develop new military technologies. Specifically, the government wants the Reno-based company to fully realise its HoverJet Guardian concept.
Pitched as a multi-environment eVTOL, the HoverJet Guardian is a powerful jet-electric hybrid aircraft. The Valkyrie eVTOL has three modes of operation: aircraft, hovercraft and amphibious. This allows the vehicle to traverse along the air and waters.
The vehicle’s profile is a slick, but chunky, futuristic build. Four propellers keep the bird in the air alongside twin turbofan engines. According to Valkyrie, this gives the concept obey 8,200 pounds of thrust.
The futuristic vehicle can switch between electric and jet fuel modes, allowing the concept to move faster or quieter when needed. However, that's not the most important part of the new vehicle’s makeup.
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More remote weapons
The biggest, and perhaps most controversial element of the new Valkyrie eVTOL is how its piloted. While the massive quadrojet can be piloted by a living human, its militaristic advantage is that it can be piloted remotely as well.
Essentially, the vehicle can be used as a colossal drone, striking without risk of lost life. Remote drones on their own are seen as controversial tactics; the HoverJet Guardian concept is no different.
However, despite its remote capabilities, the vehicle does avoid the current trending issue facing militaries: autonomous robotics. With the United States refusing to stop development of “killer robots”, most eyes are focused on that sector’s new developments.
It’s not without reason. With rifle-toting robot dogs and AI Sniper Rifles in the world, that dystopic reality is far newer than remote operated drones, no matter how big they become. It's all very 80s sci-fi.