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Dynetics was selected for phase 3 of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Gremlins programme, an effort to launch and retrieve unmanned aerial vehicles from an aircraft.
The phase 3 contract is a 21-month, $38.6 million award. The company beat General Atomics Aeronautical Systems to advance from phase 2, and Kratos Defense & Security Solutions and Lockheed Martin to advance out of the first phase of the competition.
For phase 3, Dynetics plans to attempt in mid-2019 to launch and retrieve its UAV from the cargo door of a Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules flying at about 150kt. By the end of the programme, the company aims to demonstrate four UAV recoveries in under 30min.
originally posted by: anzha
a reply to: tadaman
Because the C-130s are ubiquitous and cheap for one reason. The second is any existing Hercy can be outfitted to be a carrier then. And the third is this is a tech demo. If it works, maybe they'll do a dedicated carrier bird. I'd bet against though.
originally posted by: tadaman
a reply to: anzha
Its cool but why not develop the aerial launch and recovery tech around an airplane that is specifically designed for that?
They need flying mini aircraft carriers that can launch everything from tanker, bomber and strike drones around now to future types as they develop. Not just one type of drone around now.
Like a more compact "Strato Launch" but with more use of space for drone operations.
Dynetics, manufacturer of the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance UAV, says that it is ready to demonstrate the aircraft, which will deploy from a wing pylon on a Lockheed Martin C-130 tactical transport. It will subsequently be recovered mid-flight using a mechanical arm that reaches from the cargo ramp of the transport aircraft.
However, the earthquake that struck near China Lake on 5 July broke a critical piece of testing equipment, called the flight termination system. This ground equipment is needed to terminate a flight demonstration that goes awry.