“ORBS” AKA “Organic Resupply Buses” are on the radar of the US Military who want vertical-lift aircraft to assist them in a diversity of future missions whilst offering a first-mover advantage.
According to the Defense One website, service officials released a “request for proposals” for the ‘Agility Prime Program’ that seeks a highly module vertical-lift aircraft.
This request states, “Given their flexibility, an ORB could act as an organic resupply bus for a diverse range of missions. This diversity could include medical evacuation, firefighting, civil and military relief, installation and border security, search and rescue, and humanitarian operations.”
Will Roper, the Service’s Assistant Secretary for Acquisition told a group of Pentagon reporters, that the program is much broader than just building a flying bus and wants this industry to take off in the US before “it swims to China”.
The Air Force has created ‘Air Force Ventures’ to encourage the venture capital community to invest in projects with military relevance.
Roper explained that partnering with the big-money houses of Silicon Valley has already helped to bring USD400 million in private investment to companies working on defense issues.
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(pic: Lockheed Martin)