DARPA’s Gremlin drones could be reloaded while airborne

June 18, 2021
Catching a drone in the sky with another aircraft is tricky, but the military is trying again this fall, Kelsey D. Atherton reports for Popular Science.

WASHINGTON - A plane is limited by what it can carry, and how far it can carry it. This is especially true of small aircraft. DARPA’s Gremlins program is one answer to this challenge: by launching small drones from airborne carriers, swarms can piggyback on the range of their flying transports. In an upcoming series of tests, announced by an Air Force general last week and set to take place around October or November, the drones will be launched and then re-armed in flight. Or at least that’s the goal, Kelsey D. Atherton reports for Popular ScienceContinue reading original article.

The Intelligent Aerospace take:

June 18, 2021 - The Dynetics Gremlins team consists of the following companies, each representing best-in-class capabilities for their roles on the program: Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems, Williams International, Applied Systems Engineering, Inc., Kutta Technologies, Inc., Moog Inc., Sierra Nevada Corporation, Systima Technologies, Inc. and Airborne Systems. Additional support for the flight test included Dugway's Rapid Integration and Acceptance Center (RIAC), International Air Response and High-G Technologies.

The Dynetics team was one of four companies awarded a Phase 1 contract for the Gremlins program in 2016. Phase 2 was awarded in March 2017 to two of the initial four performers, and Phase 3 followed in April 2018, when Dynetics was named the top performer. The maiden flight of the X-61A occurred in November 2019, flying as predicted with no anomalies in the operational system.

Related: Dynetics flies second X-61A Gremlins Air Vehicle

Related: Milpower Source to provide power electronics for DARPA Gremlins drone swarms project

Related: DARPA comes "within inches" of grabbing a flying drone out of the air in Gremlins test flight

Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
Intelligent Aerospace

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