UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — The Pentagon is moving forward with plans to develop a fleet of small, unmanned attack drones that are launched from warplanes and can be recovered in midair.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently announced that it has selected defense contractor Dynetics to develop these reusable air-launched and recovered UAVs.
Known as “Gremlins,” the U.S. military hopes that these drones can be launched from any type of aircraft — from a fighter jet to a bomber.
Once their mission is complete, the Gremlins could be retrieved midair and then prepared to be launched all over again within 24 hours.
The Air Force says that using Gremlins allows it to conduct longer range missions using advanced weapons, while keeping manned aircraft away from danger.
DARPA hopes to launch four prototype Gremlin drones from an in-flight C-130 next year and have the program fully operational by 2020.