Platform Aerospace’s Vanilla UAS – Communications Relay at Valiant Shield 2024

Platform Aerospace’s Vanilla UAS – Communications Relay at Valiant Shield 2024

HOLLYWOOD, MD / ACCESSWIRE / June 20, 2024 / Platform Aerospace’s Ultra-Long Endurance Group 3 Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), Vanilla, completed mission requirements during a 27-hour flight at the Valiant Shield 2024 (VS24) exercise in Guam.

Vanilla UAS
Vanilla UAS
Vanilla UAS – Communications Relay at Valiant Shield 2024

From June 7th to June 18th, Platform Aerospace participated in VS24, a training exercise built on the collaborative efforts of the United States Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Space Force, and partner nations.

Upon take-off from Andersen Air Force Base (AAFB) in Guam, Vanilla completed mission requirements by demonstrating communications relay functionality through Link 16 (BATS-D) and Silvus radio connections to other participating assets, including High Altitude Balloons (HABS) and manned and unmanned air and surface vessels. In the early hours of June 13th, Vanilla flew through substantial precipitation, including multiple events of 1,000 ft/min climbs and descents due to airmass motion, in the mission airspace. Due to ongoing extreme weather, Platform Aerospace operators returned to base early rather than risk damage to the aircraft.

On June 14, Vanilla returned to AAFB and executed a normal landing on runway 24R. Landing occurred at 11:21 local, concluding a 1-day, 3-hour, 2-minute flight with the Link 16 relay active for the entire duration. Whereas this is a relatively short flight for Vanilla, which has demonstrated >8-days of unrefueled endurance in a desert environment, this flight demonstrates advanced technology readiness for any military operational environment.

Vanilla can be configured for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR), Communications Relay, Decoy, Air Launched Effects (ALE), Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), Electronic Warfare (EW), or any combination of those mission requirements.

Vanilla is a Rapid Defense Experimentation Reserve (RDER) Program; VS24 was Vanilla’s graduation event and formal Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 8 assessment. Platform Aerospace participated in VS24 in partnership with OUSD(R&E) and the 3rd MDTF.

About RDER

The RDER initiative is a multi-DoD component experimentation in a structured, multi-year learning campaign to accelerate new capabilities to fill critical joint warfighting capability gaps. RDER accelerates Joint innovation, expands International Partnerships and Multi-lateral engagements, focuses on Service joint experimentation, quickly demonstrates and assesses innovative ideas, and provides feedback to future Warfighting concept development. Read more about RDER at:

About OUSD(R&E)

The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)) advances research, science, technology, engineering, and innovation to maintain the United States military’s technological superiority. Learn more at, follow @DoDCTO on Twitter, or visit OUSD(R&E) on LinkedIn.

About Platform Aerospace

Platform Aerospace is a service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) specializing in disruptive UAS technologies and rapid aircraft modification. We are a 30-year-old aviation engineering and manufacturing company and owner of the world-record-setting Group 3 UAS, Vanilla.

Our 45,000-square-foot aviation design, fabrication, and modification campus in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, is designed to meet the demanding and unique needs of our U.S. and other Government partner organizations.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact or visit our website at

Contact Information

Allegra Flores

Paula Marlowe
Marketing and Growth Manager
301.863.9253, ext. 607

SOURCE: Platform Aerospace


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