DARPA picks 3 companies to develop unmanned aircraft that attacks with submunitions from standoff distances

Feb. 19, 2021
Contractors will fly full-scale demonstrators to prove their LongShot UAVs are capable of controlled flight and able to launch weapons.

ARLINGTON, Va. – U.S. military researchers are choosing three U.S. defense contractors to create an air-launched unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that carries its own small submunitions. Defense News reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

19 Feb. 2021 -- the new LongShot could enable manned jet fighters and bombers to hang back at standoff distances while the drone moves forward and strikes several targets using its own air-launched weapons.

Officials of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., have awarded contracts to General Atomics, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman for the first phase of the LongShot program, during which the companies will create preliminary designs.

Under the LongShot program, DARPA researchers say they plan to explore multimodal propulsion for the unmanned aircraft, which experts see as key to the drone’s concept of operations.

Related: The new world of counter-drone technology

Related: Northrop Grumman to build 19 GQM-163A drones for training defenders to fight hypersonic cruise missiles

Related: Army wants industry ideas on how to defeat UAVs with missiles, lasers, or hunter-killer UAVs

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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