From January 15 to 20, 2023, a detachment from the Naval Aeronautics Practical Experimentation and Reception Center (CEPA-10S) carried out the first experimental flights of a logistics drone with the Hercules 20 vector on board the carrier. -Charles de Gaulle aircraft , then on an ANTARES mission.
Under evaluation and experimentation, this drone was embarked on board the Charles de Gaulle in order to assess its behavior in the operational environment specific to the aircraft carrier. Secondly, the CEPA-10S tests the ability of this drone to transfer equipment between two units of the carrier battle group and thus facilitate certain logistical movements of a force formed at sea.
Several flights were made. Initially, the experiments took place with takeoffs from the aircraft carrier over short distances before carrying out a final test of transferring a load between the aircraft carrier and an escort. All the results of these experiments will then be analyzed by CEPA-10S.
Quick and easy to deploy, the Hercules 20 drone makes it possible to dispense with heavy means, such as a helicopter, to allow the use as soon as possible and in total safety of this additional refueling capability at sea.