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The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) munitions directorate awarded two competitive contracts for the first phase of development of a new cruise missile designed to defeat modern, integrated air defense systems (IADS).
DARPA has recently moved to phase 2 of the Gremlins program which envisions volleys of low-cost, reusable unmanned aerial systems (UASs) that could be launched and later retrieved in mid-air. DARPA selected two teams - one led by Dynetics, the other by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), to complete preliminary designs full-scale technology demonstration systems, as well as develop and perform risk-reduction tests of individual system components.
The US Defense Department's Advanced Research Programs Agency (DARPA) selected Lockheed Martin and Raytheon as the prime contractors for the agency's Collaborative Operations in Denied Environment (CODE) demonstration. The program seeks to help conduct dynamic Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs) operations over long distances, against short lived, moving targets in denied or contested electromagnetic airspace.
The US Air Force and DARPA are looking at new concepts of operations that will enable unmanned platforms to support the future air component in all operational environments
The US Air Force Special Operations Command is planning to use air-launched drones to enable Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) AC-130 aerial gunships and MQ-9 Reaper drones to operate in all weather conditions, particularly above the clouds.