Monday, March 8, 2021

Featured News

US Picks Lockheed, GA & Northrop To Design The World’s Most Lethal Drone

The US government’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected aerospace giants Lockheed Martin, General Atomics, and Northrop Grumman as prime contractors to design an air-launched combat drone under its LongShot program.

Has The US Army Found A Replacement For AGM-114 Hellfire Missile Used By Apache Choppers?

Over the years, Lockheed along with Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and General Atomics has partnered with the US military in providing them with the most advanced assets.

Under the LongShot program, these companies are required to work on a concept, in which a larger manned aircraft would fire a drone, which could then fly to a specified area and engage multiple threats on its own with the weapons on board, according to The Drive.

The purpose of developing an air-launched air-to-air combat drone under the LongShot program is to extend the range of the launch platform, while also reducing its vulnerability to hostile aircraft or air defenses.

DARPA, which is a research and development agency under the US Department of Defense, announced the contract awards on February 8.

“The LongShot program changes the paradigm of air combat operations by demonstrating an unmanned, air-launched vehicle capable of employing current and advanced air-to-air weapons,” DARPA program manager Lt. Col. Paul Calhoun was quoted as saying.

“LongShot will disrupt traditional incremental weapon improvements by providing an alternative means of generating combat capability,” he added.

According to DARPA, the current air superiority concepts have been based on an advanced fighter jet providing a penetrating counter-air capability to effectively deliver weapons.

The LongShot program has been structured in such a manner that it increases the survivability of manned platforms by enabling them to stay away or at standoff range, far away from the threat of enemies.

The XQ-58A Valkyrie UAV of the US Air Force

This ensures their safety while the LongShot air-to-air combat drone takes on the enemy forces by engaging them and taking more effective missile shots at a closer range.

Plans for the development of the drones under the LongShot program were included in the Pentagon’s budget request for the 2021 fiscal year.

It had asked for a sum of $22 million in total to start the initial work, including the development and refinement of the design for a “demonstration system”.

The request also included a sum of $13.27 million, meant for a proposed gun-armed air-launched drone effort called ‘Gunslinger’.

The LongShot program is aimed at creating an extra distance between the launching aircraft and the aerial threat or enemy threats that are being targeted.

With the help of these combat drones, the missions can be a lot more flexible due to the increased range at which the targets can be engaged.

This will, in turn, allow the launch platforms to stay outside the range of a potential counterattack, and let the drones fight some battles for it.

The additional range provided by the drones in the missions will be of huge significance for the US military.

Currently, the US Air Force and the Navy are working together on a new long-range air-to-air missile called the AIM-260. It is considered a more traditional means of extending the reach of combat aircraft during missions.

Developed by Lockheed Martin, the AIM-260 Joint Advanced Tactical Missile (JATM) is a beyond-visual-range, air-to-air weapon that has been designed to address advanced threats.

The US Air Force and Navy have been secretly developing the missile to replace the AIM-120 AMRAAM, which is currently in the service.

The initial launch platforms for the missiles are expected to be US Air Force’s stealthy F-22 Raptors and the US Navy’s F/A-18E/F. However, there are also plans of integrating it with the Lockheed F-35 stealth fighters at a later stage.

Authors Profile

Follow EurAsian Times on Google News 


Featured News

PAF Official Explains Why Pakistan Could Not Intercept Indian Mirage 2000 Jets During Balakot Bombings

On February 26, 2019, the Indian Air Force's Mirage 2000 jets crossed the Line of Control (LoC), releasing five Israeli-made Spice 2000 bombs 15...

Can India’s BrahMos Cruise Missile Shield The Philippines From China?

As India is set to export the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile, BrahMos, to the Philippines, experts are concerned if Manila can actually guard...

Pakistan On-Track To Develop An Enormous Oil City In Balochistan’s Gwadar District As Saudi Reassures Investments

Pakistan has confirmed that its plan to develop a massive oil city in Balochistan's Gwadar district, which will also host the $10 billion Aramco...

Watch: Has India Signed A Deal With Israel To Procure Hermes 900 Drones From Elbit Systems?

The Israeli defense electronics company, Elbit Systems, has been awarded a $300-million contract to supply Hermes 900 tactical drones to "a country in Asia",...

Why Narendra Modi Wants Indian Military Officers To Forgo The ‘Legacy Systems’ In Armed Forces

Are the officers of India’s armed forces prepared to forgo the “legacy systems” that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants? Not really, if credible reports...