The DARPA Gremlins program has been performing extensive research in developing a number of swarming drones for battlefield purpose. Introducing the latest and most advanced military drone program dubbed as the “Gremlins” program. It is an effort to quickly build low-cost unmanned aerial vehicles that can be detach from the mothership then be recovered afterward the mission is complete.
Last week, the United States Defense Department launched its first airborne test from the Dynetics X-61A Gremlins Air Vehicle. Which is a jet-powered drone that can be either launched from the rotary weapons bay of B-1 and B-52 as well as C-130. After the mission is complete, these drones will be recovered via a docking cable and a crane-like recovery arm.
The first flight took place in November, but the first test took place last week at the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. It was one of the first air launch with a military drone flying out of the mothership. Following the 101 minutes flight was very successful. The drones came with built-in parachute to soften the ground impact when landing. But the drone was destroyed in the process during unexpected hard landing.
Dynetics program manager Tim Keeter stated that the recent flight test gave their company a lot of confidence. The decision they made to move forward was because the drone could fly where it was supposed to. As well as how these drones were supposed to fly. Which helps the team establish and focus on other portion of the program plan to further integrate docking system for the drones onto C-130 plane.
In spring, they will have their first recovery test. The military company, Dynetics, plans to launch and recover 4 Gremlins within merely 30 minutes by end of the year. While it does sounds like a truly challenge, the movement and recovery time could potentially transform the way our military operate in the future.
The DARPA Gremlins Program are much bigger, capable, and less expensive. Since they can operate more than dozens of missions before they need to land for maintenance. The department also have tested smaller disposable drones before which are fired from the canisters off the fighter jets.
They are also looking to include drones as line-of-sight communication link in the battlefield where radios can be jammed sometimes. Furthermore, the drones will provides the defense departments eyes of the battlefield mainly for surveillance and targeting.
In the other recent news, Department of the Interior still thinks that Chinese-made drones are a threat to the national security. Despite that DJI, the world-class leading consumer drones, will be launch all new Matrice M300 by end of February. Two known drones: Mavic Air 2 and Mavic 3 Pro will follow short thereafter with a possible unnamed drone.
What are your thoughts on DARPA Gremlins Program? Is that something that we should be including to our growing defense budget? Share with us what you think by commenting below in the comments section.