The Pentagon’s main research arm wants to find out what a flying “aircraft carrier” carrying a fleet of small aerial drones might look like and how much it would cost the military.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced Sunday it would open a competition for proposals to build a large aircraft — similar to a C-130 — that could carry and distribute aerial drones across a large area. DARPA officials said they wanted to see proposals for a system that could both launch the drones, but also recover them mid-flight.
“We want to find ways to make smaller aircraft more effective, and one promising idea is enabling existing large aircraft, with minimal modification, to become ‘aircraft carriers in the sky’,” said Dan Patt, DARPA program manager.
DARPA wants the proposals to allow for a flight demonstration of the aircraft and the drones within four years. Officials expect to use the proposals to build an official DARPA program for the system.
Full article: Pentagon Wants to Build Aircraft Carriers in the Sky (Defense Tech)