snowgoose_flight1.jpgThe Marines many have a few GPS-guided parachutes for airdropping supplies. But U.S. Special Operations Command has gone several steps better, by ordering up to 200 propeller-driven, cargo-carrying delivery drones.The SnowGoose unmanned aerial vehicle is "capable of carrying up to 600 pounds in six bays, which can include a combination of cargo, surveillance and sensor equipment, communications links or other devices," according to its maker, MMIST -- the firm that's also responsible for the made by the Sherpa GPS chute."Once deployed from air, land or sea, the SnowGoose can climb to greater than 18,000 feet, and can steer and navigate autonomously," the company claims. "The onboard, multiple-mission guidance system can be reprogrammed by satellite or line of sight data link during flight. It has a flight endurance of up to 20 hours or a maximum cargo capacity of 600 lbs."Special Forces just signed a $10 million contract with MMIST for eighteen SnowGooses. But those numbers could rise to $75 million and a couple hundred drones, if all goes well with the initial batch.

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