DARPA Is Building A Flying Aircraft Carrier

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – more commonly known as DARPA – is moving ahead with a project to create a flying aircraft carrier. According to the Navy Times, the so-called “Gremlins” program involves building a transport and bomber-style aircraft capable of launching swarms of fighter drones mid-flight.

Here’s the Navy Times:

The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency plans to demonstrate the ability to launch and recover swarms of drones from a C-130 sometime in 2019, according to statements by the agency and by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, one of two companies contracted to design prototype of the drones. The other is Dynetics.

The test would serve as a major leap into the next phase of testing for DARPA’s Gremlins program.

Since drone warfare is such an important component of contemporary US foreign policy, DARPA is expected to begin testing the program next year. The initiative – which DARPA says is named after the imaginary, mischievous imps that became good luck charms for British pilots in WWII - is intended to give the military “improved operational flexibility at a much lower cost than is possible with today’s expensive, all-in-one platforms,” according to a DARPA statement.



Once dispatched, the drones would be outfitted with different payloads in order to accomplish an assortment of missions, to include ISR, electronic warfare, signals intelligence and even kinetic effects.

“When the gremlins complete their mission, a C-130 transport aircraft would retrieve them in the air and carry them home, where ground crews would prepare them for their next use within 24 hours,” the DARPA statement reads.

The program seeks to one day launch the drones from smaller fixed-wing fighter aircraft while still keeping those manned platforms out of the range of enemy air defenses. The program’s first phase concluded in March, and showed the program was not just feasible, but “would require minimal modification to the host aircraft,” said Scott Wierzbanowski, the DARPA program manager, in a statement.

During the second phase, DARPA hopes to have a preliminary design completed, which would enable it to finish preliminary designs for full-scale technology demonstrations, Wierzbanowski said.

Each drone would have a range of 300 nautical miles while carrying a 60-pound payload.

DARPA is incorporating commercial technology to drive down the cost of the gremlins. The goal is for each drone to cost less than $500,000.

So far, there are two options for recovery systems. The first can be mounted on the wings of an aircraft, while the second is loaded in the cargo bay. DARPA wouldn’t say how many drones would fit on the aircraft’s wings.

The hope is that the gremlins could be reused up to about 20 times. In the end, the goal is for the drones to provide a cheaper alternative to larger aircraft platforms with heavier payloads and higher maintenance costs over their lifetimes.


shitshitshit old naughty Tue, 01/02/2018 - 05:28 Permalink

this is actually a pretty good and simple idea, I bet other armies are working on the same topic without much publicity (look for instance at the use of russian drones during the first syrian campaign).

In essence, what to do with a drone on a battlefield is twofold: either you sacrifice it (good if you embedded some explosives within and it is a cheap device) or you recover it (for more expensive ones).

The problem with americanos is that the local MIC insists on getting phat checks, therefore uselessly increases the complexity of their projects, at the expense of usability. Suffice to cite the F-35 and you should get the point.

Let's see where this one project will go.

In reply to by old naughty

Moe Howard shitshitshit Tue, 01/02/2018 - 06:44 Permalink

My first thought when I read the article was the same - simple idea.

They are using a C-130 which has been in service forever.

The idea isn't complicated and if the controllers can be on the ground in a rear area I don't see the downside.

If they make the drones small enough it can be devastating for local air support, it can overwhelm air defense systems if there are enough of them, and they can "suicide" into ground installations or defenses or tanks, troop concentrations you name it.

Pretty good idea and I think it could be implemented rather quickly with the technology at hand today.

In reply to by shitshitshit

JuliaS Moe-Monay Tue, 01/02/2018 - 21:24 Permalink

The exact thing I also tend to repeat. Increases in productivity mask theft the best. Electrical companies jack rates when new energy efficient technologies roll out, like the CFL and LED light bulbs, or when energy star appliances become mandatory.

When you use less, it's the best time to charge you more, as you don't notice 2 changing quantities. If you change the price of an item, re-design packaging, because then comparison will seem like apples and oranges when in reality, it's more for less.

Banks issue credit financing, so they're always at the forefront of utilizing the latest and greatest whatever. When the loan goes sour, they socialize losses. When tech whatever thing works out, they pocket the profits.

They've been tremendously enriched by the 100 years of oil utilization where every single improvement to the quality of life went into their trillion dollar pockets, while the rest of the population had to send all family members to work to compensate for the rising cost of living. Bankers are trillion times richer than they were 100 years ago. An average human is a hundred times worse, if you strip away all the techno confetti.

In reply to by Moe-Monay

Trogdor Moe Howard Tue, 01/02/2018 - 14:13 Permalink

Downside I see would be the S400 SAM system (and others).  Keeping the "mother ship" out of range of enemy air defenses seems pretty sketchy while at the same time having enough range on the drones to get to the target - or - out and back to the pick-up zone .... unless you're attacking some goat herders in the ME somewhere, that is.... ;)

Meanwhile, the Russians are building more SU-35's to fight wars ...

In reply to by Moe Howard

chubbar Moe Howard Wed, 01/03/2018 - 08:44 Permalink

Yeah, it's just a fucking great idea. Except that everything we develop is not only misused against civilian populations, but eventually is reverse engineered to be used against us. What is going to stop a country from releasing thousands of facial recognition drones to kill it's dissidents? How about just releasing thousands, each with a small charge, that fly into the heads of anyone it senses? Why the fuck do we continually need to develop killing machines and when is enough enough? After we've blown each other up?

We just got a soft disclosure of alien life from the gov't last week. We know that we can segue into a star traveling civilization, if only we last long enough to do so. This path we are on of destroying each other, predominately pursued by the US neocon gov't, isn't going to allow for us to survive if we stay on it.


In reply to by Moe Howard

MEFOBILLS FORD_FIESTA Tue, 01/02/2018 - 09:47 Permalink

Warthogs are vulnerable to manpads (man portable air defense).

Warthogs are effective if you have air superiority, and enemy has no good ground to air defense. 

Swarm technology is actually cheap and effective... it could become a nightmare for both sides in a conflict.

I envisioned swarm drones on a carrier submarine.  The Sub would launch and recover.  After recovery, the sub could submerge again.

There is no need for aircraft carriers, they are either obsolete now, or soon will be.

In reply to by FORD_FIESTA

koan shitshitshit Tue, 01/02/2018 - 10:05 Permalink

"good" is subjective, and the idea is not "simple" by any stretch.
I would point out these are nothing more than "recoverable missiles" an idea that may hold merit for some but seems like a Rube Goldberg money hole to me.
If you have ever watched a mid air refueling you get a idea how difficult it would be to dock a missile on a flying plane.
Now imagine the missile you're recovering has explosive on board....

In reply to by shitshitshit

Trogdor koan Tue, 01/02/2018 - 14:34 Permalink

"Now imagine the missile you're recovering has explosive on board...."

LOL - totally.  An ARMED explosive. 

There is the "theory" and the "practice" of these "advanced" weapons, and rarely do they align.  I have a friend who works for a defense contractor.  He said that they were testing one of their whiz-bang HUD monocles on some "real troops" - they tore them off of their helmets within a few days - they hated them.  I can see after a few mother ships getting blown up by malfunctioning drones a lot of crews saying "No effin' way!"

Like I've said before:  The US MIC builds weapons to make Generals feel like they have big dicks ... while the rest of the world builds weapons to fight real wars.

In reply to by koan

Parrotile Lost in translation Tue, 01/02/2018 - 04:19 Permalink

I notice the drones are not to be fitted with the ability to provide humanitarian aid to remote areas.

That element probably comes under the "kinetic effects" category - along with the essential capability to kill wedding parties / destroy hospital facilities.

Meanwhile, China's Overseas Aid programme is about to overtake the US "aid" (dollar recycling to US Companies) programme.


In reply to by Lost in translation

ConfederateH WTFRLY Tue, 01/02/2018 - 04:36 Permalink

All the patents, and all the technologies, are owned by these )00's.  US full bird colonels and generals may like to think that it is about "protecting our constitution", but it clearly is not.  All these high tech weapons are about one thing and one thing only:  goyim slavery and the third temple.

In reply to by WTFRLY

ConfederateH ConfederateH Tue, 01/02/2018 - 05:08 Permalink

Since someone downvoted me and appears not to believe reality, here is an interesting and long rollup of a thread on how jews brought slavery to the US.  It is quite fascinating.


A few interesting points: 
- The first real slaves in the US arrived in 1654 in New Amsterdam after Jews were forced to leave Brazil.  The brought their slaves with them.
- Rhode Island was a Jew haven, the first synogogue there was built with black slave labor
- Northern Jews preferred indentured servants (white slaves) to black ones
- Virtually all the plantations in the Mississippi Delta, and the slaves working them, were owned by Jews
- The staunchest secessionists and pro-slavery advocates were Jews.

In reply to by ConfederateH

MEFOBILLS house biscuit Tue, 01/02/2018 - 10:10 Permalink

There is always an ignoramus that doesn't understand real history, and is shocked when reality intrudes.  Not you housebiscut, but you know what I mean.

Yes, Jews were and always have been heavily involved in the slave trade.  

Even the Venetians, after they became corrupted, used Jews as intermediaries with Muslims.  Slave trading between white lands and muslims was done by Jews through Alexandria.  More slave trading was done by Jews through the Balkans.  Balkan Slav's were sold into Muslim lands.

More slave trading was done by Jews in East Africa. More negroes were pulled out of East Africa than West Africa.  Yet, our Jewish overlords are always using their media and punking white Western Man with guilt about slavery, which is a classic case of projection.  They cry out while they strike you.  

Jews have always been about primacy of capital.  The Merchant Tribe has always shilled for "merchant money" they can control, not government money.  The Merchant tribe has always put their capital above labor.  The Merchant tribe are the original finance capitalists. 

The Merchant tribe used their finance capital to outfit ships for Atlantic slave trade.

Virtually all the slave ships were Jewish owned.  Ships manifest would go like this:  Pick up slaves in Africa, deliver to America, sell said slaves to white farmer men.  Pick up hemp, timber, and rum on return leg.  Sell rum to African's to get more slaves.  Jews don't farm... read 200 years together if you don't believe it.  Even in Russia our ((Friends)) set up distillaries.

Use slave profits to set up rum distillation in Caribbean and elsewhere.  Rinse Repeat.

When cotton became "white gold" sell more slaves to white farmers.  Rinse Repeat.

So, Yes ... absolutely the Jews were involved in slavery, and were the prime movers.  Gotta make those shekels by hook or crook.   

Until sovereign countries seize their own money power away from the merchant's credit, then the shit show will continue.  The Jew is a parasite on labor, and on civilized society, so he has to be dealt with.  Disenfranchising him from his parasitic game is the most humane way.  Separation is another method. 


In reply to by house biscuit

ConfederateH Moe Howard Tue, 01/02/2018 - 08:28 Permalink

"C-130 coming out of the sky with a shit load of drones to fuck up your day."

How about 2 Boeing 767's, flown by Arabs without weapons or pilot licenses, carrying fire proof passports, that manage knock down 3 massive steel skyscrapers perfectly into their own foot prints.  Boobus Americanus, like you, is good with that as long as Moar Wars for Israel cause bad guys like "terrurist" Iran and Syria to be crushed.

In reply to by Moe Howard

Moe Howard Parrotile Tue, 01/02/2018 - 06:52 Permalink

Are you a certified moron?

Who do you think provides the most disaster relief to the world?



You are a joke. The Chinese are busy trying to develop a world class military based mostly on stolen US tech. Just was an article on here about the latest thing, some hypersonic vehicle. That "device" can't deliver aid to remote areas either.

Oh, and you better try to catch that junk satellite of yours that is about to plunge out of space into some poor peasant's straw hut in the Chinese provinces.

In reply to by Parrotile

MEFOBILLS DPLETTENBERG Tue, 01/02/2018 - 10:44 Permalink

Come on hedgers.  Let's go through some quick monetary history:

The U.S. adopted Atlantic merchant methods after WW2.  That means SHIPS and OCEANS to move goods.  That means private banksters get a cut of every transaction.  

Our ((friends)) originally were caravaneers moving gold and silver east west connecting the West (which had silver) and the east (which had gold).  They took exchange rate differences as usury, for thousands of years.  Hence the tribe was "funded" originally by crime.

Then our tribe friends discovered they could do the same thing with ships in the Levant.  This is when they got the Greeks into debt, which ultimately led to Solon's reforms.

The our ((friends)) fully jumped to Amsterdaaamn after Vasco de Gama discovered southern route, which broke overland Caravan trade.

Subsequent convergence on Holland attached tribe to a shipping power, then tribe jumped to London, another shipping power.  In London, they started up Bank of England, using newly invented bank credit.  At this time, they had lost much of their former gold/silver control mechanism due to the Portuguese (Vasco de Gama), who had seized it with shipping southern route around Horn of Africa.

Finance Capitalism first came into being in Amsterdam, then in London.  This is a combination of bank credit, and "markets" and stock owned companies, including stock owned private banks. Private money then hosts countries, and said countries are not longer sovereign. 

BOE debt spreading methods jumped fully to America by 1912. The U.S. loses its sovereignty at this time. 

Russia is a land power and was never involved in "atlantic doctrine."  Russian slav orthodox civilization did not develop behind Jewish finance capital methods.  Atlantacists always moved to prevent Russia from having a warm water port, and recently went nuts when Russia was able to secure Crimea.

Germans, when they used land based Industrial Capitalism, became a huge threat to finance capitalist "merchant" Atlantacism in the same way that Russians are a threat today.

If Russia fully converted to sovereign money and industrial capitalism, atlantacists would go bezerk, and start war immediately.

U.S. is still steeped in Atlantacist doctrine, hence emphasis on power projection with a large navy.  England post 1694 was always an enemy of the U.S. founding, and worked to undermine it.  The war of 1812 and burning of the Capital Building was a Rothschild war, an attempt of finance to take U.S. back for England.

The Rothschilds, Jews, and finance capital won, and consolidated their gains culminating with atlantacist doctrine post WW2.



In reply to by DPLETTENBERG

gunzeon Tue, 01/02/2018 - 03:41 Permalink

Does anybody know what happened to the "comments per page" feature ?

I mean, forwarding the page with mod_proxy to https is no big deal but it is a true pain in the rear to not have hundreds of comments on the article's page first page; i cannot understand how there could be any sensible reason for removing this facility.

Was it the outsourcing shop that put a newbie on to the https ( finally ) forwarding project ? get what you pay for; i pay nothing here so who am i to complain. ZH prolly chiselled a deal with some indians that was too low to get anyone with any clue.

us readers pay with our time spent pissing around reaching the location of the last comment read ... if they have not moved on to another site altogether.


evokanivo evokanivo Tue, 01/02/2018 - 04:00 Permalink

PS: I'm sure they will re-add the EDIT feature. Replying to my own comment is silly.

What I'm surprised by, however, is that either they don't have a functional test-bed to try all this stuff out (unlikely) or they're rolling out changes before they re-implement/integrate all the original features.

In reply to by evokanivo

Conscious Reviver evokanivo Tue, 01/02/2018 - 04:15 Permalink

It's the age we live in. Remember the ObamaCare enrollment website had more lines of code than the Apollo program and most of it didn't work. We've all been involuntary testers of new Microsoft releases. 

I would not bring back the edit feature if I was Tyler. Too easy for us to burn his cycles instead of ours. It doesn't scale well. 

A nefarious thing about the edit. One could collect a lot of affirmation aka votes going one way, then edit the post and go the other way. 

Fyi, all old votes are wiped out. Why? I don't know. 

It's faster now. I like the new version. 

In reply to by evokanivo