The Pentagon is on the look out to launch multiple unmanned drones (UAVs) from larger aircraft. As per Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the vision is to fly drones from the air for different missions like: intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions in hard-to-reach areas.
Drones can be based on larger transport aircraft like: B-52, B-1 bombers or C-130. The smaller drones would then fly from the larger planes, perform their missions and land back. In other words, transport aircraft would act like aircraft carriers.
“The agency envisions a large aircraft that, with minimal modification, could launch and recover multiple small unmanned systems from a standoff distance,” the request for information says.
Drones are the future and would continue playing a far greater and critical role in U.S. military and intelligence operations. DARPA aims at developing aircraft and weapons that will enable U.S. forces to cover large distances to get to coastal and other regions that are often protected by rival forces.
At the start of this year, DARPA released requests for long-range, anti-ship missiles giving military access to break down the defenses of potential rivals as China and Iran. Underwater drones are also being explored as they would be based aboard larger submarines. DARPA further plans to enable multiple drones to communicate with each other autonomously without any need of central station on the ground.
Source: USA Today