DARPA taps companies for Gremlins swarming drones program

Dynetics Inc., General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics have joined the Composite Engineering Unmanned Systems Division in a U.S. military research program that seeks to build swarms of drone aircraft.

Dynetics Inc. in Huntsville, Ala.; General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. in San Diego; and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Fort Worth, Texas, have joined the Composite Engineering Unmanned Systems Division in Sacramento, Calif., in a U.S. military research program that seeks to build swarms of drone aircraft. U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) officials in Arlington, Va., hired the companies for the first phase of the Gremlins program, which will rely on relatively inexpensive unmanned aerial vehicles in volley quantities to saturate enemy defenses. DARPA Gremlins will use military C-130 aircraft to launch drone swarms of networked and cooperating unmanned aircraft for electronic attack and reconnaissance missions from standoff ranges, and recover surviving drones when their missions are completed.

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