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DARPA seeks manned mothership

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posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 09:29 AM
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DARPA is seeking information on a large manned aircraft capable of launching and recovering small UAVs. One possible aircraft would be the C-130. C-130s have been used in the past to launch UAVs on preplanned missions, and as targets, under the designation DC-130. During Vietnam, DC-130s would launch preprogramed UAVs that would then splash down in the ocean, to be recovered by ships, where the film would either be processed, or flown to land bases and processed.

Now DARPA is seeking information for a similar platform, but this one would be capable of recovering the UAVs as well as launching them. The UAVs would be on the order of the ScanEagle for size. A platform like this would extend the range and endurance of any UAV it carried, as well as keeping the crew of the mothership out of harms way.


The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is seeking information from industry on existing technologies that would facilitate the deployment of small unmanned air vehicles from large manned aircraft.

DARPA envisages “aircraft carriers in the sky” that will be able to launch and recover small UAVs from existing large manned aircraft such as the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules, an agency statement released on 8 November states.

“DARPA is interested in exploring the feasibility of small UAS airborne launch and recovery approaches for providing distributed airborne capabilities from existing air platforms,” a request for information released on 7 November states.“The agency envisions a large aircraft that, with minimal modification, could launch and recover multiple small unmanned systems from a stand-off distance.”

www.flightglobal.com...




posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 09:31 AM
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I looked at the DC-130 photo.

Those inboard drones must have been inches off the ground when the mothership took off.



posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 09:32 AM
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Is there only me thinking of SHIELD's Heli Carrier?



posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 09:33 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

football field long BBTs? quiet, stealthy, hard to see. I could see them using something like that in the future to accomplish this. C130's or B52's maybe a converted commercial plane until then?



posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 09:37 AM
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a reply to: butcherguy

DC-130 on the ground

It wasn't that bad. You couldn't exactly walk underneath it, but it wasn't that bad.



posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 09:41 AM
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First air platform that popped up in my mind, was a Quad copter type platform, I know they are just toys, but the stability of those are pretty unbelievable. And if they could build some type of quadcopter like on Avatar, it would be stable enough to land and fly UAVs from a deck. Oh what the future will bring.



posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 09:47 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58
Thanks for that pic. Brings it into perspective better for me.



posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 10:02 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

What about another UAV?

A small unmanned 'mothership' serving as an intermediate carrier could deploy smaller UAVs like a LALO (low altitude low opening) and then retreat and maintain a safe altitude until the job was done, then retrieve the drones once the mission was done. However the retrieval would be hard.

It's not a great idea, but any idea is better than none.




edit on 11-11-2014 by Thecakeisalie because: (no reason given)

edit on 11-11-2014 by Thecakeisalie because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 10:09 AM
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a reply to: Thecakeisalie

The advantage of a manned platform is that you move the controls closer to the UAV, so for UAVs that require constant control, if you're using them, the control lag problem goes away. This means that theoretically, if they were to do this, they could perform at least a limited air to air mission with UAVs.



posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 10:12 AM
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a reply to: butcherguy

I always thought the DC-130 was by far the coolest of the C-130 family, and loved when they came to town. There was always something cool as hell about a C-130 sitting there with four Firebee drones mounted on the wings.



posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 10:24 AM
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a reply to: expatwhite

I was also thinking that



posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 11:05 AM
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A dirigible did that nearly 100 years ago. The more things change the more they stay the same




posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 11:07 AM
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a reply to: mikell

Too vulnerable. You want something that can survive by getting out of the area if need be.



posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 11:14 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Rumor has it they make pretty fast dirigibles these days. I want a black star destroyer looking thing launching drones! Is that too much to ask!




posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 11:18 AM
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a reply to: BASSPLYR

Not fast enough to outrun a J-31, even with plenty of warning. A C-130 sized platform with enough warning will have time to get beyond the range that it could come after it, or drop low where hunting becomes much harder. A dirigible just dies.



posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 11:24 AM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
DARPA is seeking information on a large manned aircraft capable of launching and recovering small UAVs.


It's the "recovering" part that gets me the most excited. It will be interesting to see how they decide to do that.



posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 11:24 AM
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a reply to: expatwhite

I was thinking more along the lines of the large triangle aircraft everyone claim to see from time to time. Based on reports, they're huge and can hover or cruise at very slow speeds. That would be great for deploying drones and bringing them back on board. Plus, they already have the UFO cover story so they can just deny deny deny they were in their airspace.

Yes, I know this is an out there theory.



posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 11:25 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

OK how bout a LTA craft of some sort? A floating Air Craft Carrier that can scoot when it needs to.




posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 11:29 AM
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a reply to: howmuch4another

Yeah, that will be really interesting. They haven't had much luck with parasite craft in the past, but with computer control, and computing power we have today, I can see them working now.



posted on Nov, 11 2014 @ 11:31 AM
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a reply to: howmuch4another

With the new plane parachutes they have I envision a very simple and easy to accomplish with already aging tech method would be to use a VATS type system.

The drone does its mission then flies to a meeting zone where it can loiter til momma shows up. Once momma is on scene the drone could deploy a baloon and cable system, possibly even stop flight all together to get a more stationary target and dangle from said baloon. Which then momma swings by and hooks the cable attached to the baloon and WHERE OFF!

VATS is so awesome. I would pay big money to be able to get scooped up by it one day lol.
edit on 11-11-2014 by mindseye1609 because: (no reason given)




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