The U.S. Air Force is looking to purchase a fleet of air taxis to provide short-range transport for a variety of missions. The service wants to leverage existing research and development in the commercial sector to produce an unmanned, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) craft capable of shuttling airmen and material across the battlefield. The air taxi concept would likely support the service’s concept of dispersing air power across wide areas to protect them from attack.
According to Aviation Week, the Air Force officially kicked off the search for such a vehicle this week. The project, known as Agility Prime, seeks to purchase a “handful plus” of flying taxis by 2023 for testing purposes. If the project works as planned, the service could deploy the taxis worldwide, especially in support of its new operating concept, Agile Combat Employment.
“Now’s the perfect time to make ‘Jetsons’ cars real,” said Will Roper, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, in a briefing with reporters.
Read more: Popular Mechanics