It may look like a toy commando truck from the G.I. Joe cartoons, but the Pentagon is serious about developing a flying Humvee.
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has handed out about $9 million in contracts to develop the vehicle. The agency envisions it being capable to carry out a wide range of missions including raining down ammunition on enemies and shuttling wounded soldiers off the battlefield.
The program, dubbed Transformer, “seeks to combine the advantages of ground vehicles and helicopters into a single vehicle equipped with flexibility of movement,” the Pentagon said.
Artist’s mock-ups of the vehicle look like Marty McFly’s DeLorean on steroids. The Transformer will have folding wings that will pop out the sides and a rotor blade that churns on the roof. Also, it will be robotic, meaning there will be no pilot or driver behind the wheel.