Silent Arrow® Awarded AFWERX Contract to Develop a Long-Range Powered Cargo Drone

Air Force funding to result in a scaled-up Silent Arrow® with propulsion system to carry 1,000 pounds of payload over 300 nautical miles in contested environments

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Silent Arrow today announced it has been selected by AFWERX for a SBIR contract focused on the Silent Arrow CLS-300 (“Contested Logistics System, 300 Nautical Miles”) to address one of the most pressing challenges in the Department of the Air Force (DAF).

The CLS-300 is based on the commercially successful Silent Arrow GD-2000, the world’s first heavy payload, autonomous and attritable cargo delivery aircraft designed to carry 1,500 lbs. of cargo over 35 nautical miles when deployed from cargo aircraft such as the Lockheed Martin C-130, Boeing C-17 and Airbus A400M.

Whereas the GD-2000 is a glider, the new CLS-300 can travel nearly 10 times as far by utilizing an innovative propulsion unit and propeller system that are inexpensive enough to allow the entire cargo drone to be attritable.  In addition to being air droppable, it will also be capable of taking off from the ground including from unimproved surfaces, naval vessels and other launch points.

“We’d like to thank the U.S. Air Force, AFWERX, AFRL and our Air Force Customer and End-User organizations for their confidence in awarding this disruptive program,” said Chip Yates, Silent Arrow’s Founder and CEO.  “We are looking forward to a compressed schedule with propulsion tests in the first half of 2024 followed by flight tests in the second half of 2024 so that we may rapidly deliver this critical capability to warfighters operating in harm’s way as well as to humanitarian and disaster relief organizations serving those in need.”

About Silent Arrow®

The Silent Arrow® product line consists of four sizes of autonomous cargo delivery aircraft capable of carrying 350 to 2,000 pounds of emergency, disaster relief and humanitarian response supplies anywhere in the world on short notice.  Silent Arrow’s engineering team has been awarded more than 20 patents, 6 Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) aircraft world records and 2 FAI Louis Bleriot medals for disruptive contributions to the aerospace industry.  In 2021 Silent Arrow® was selected as a finalist for the Robert J. Collier Trophy as the “Greatest Achievement in Aeronautics or Astronautics in America.” For more information visit

About AFRL

The Air Force Research Laboratory is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 12,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit


As the innovation arm of the DAF and a directorate within the Air Force Research Laboratory, AFWERX brings cutting-edge American ingenuity from small businesses and start-ups to address the most pressing challenges of the DAF. AFWERX employs approximately 325 military, civilian and contractor personnel at six hubs and sites executing an annual $1.4 billion budget. Since 2019, AFWERX has executed 4,697 contracts worth more than $2.6 billion to strengthen the U.S. defense industrial base and drive faster technology transition to operational capability. For more information, visit:

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Air Force, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Greg Fehrenbach
+1 949-434-1576

SOURCE Silent Arrow