This Could Be Northrop Grumman’s Lethal Drone for DARPA’s LongShot Program

Northrop Grumman LongShot 1 photo
Photo: Northrop Grumman
In the first decade of February, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, better known as DARPA, announced the start of the design phase of a program it calls LongShot. Three companies were selected for this stage, namely General Atomics, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.
LongShot's goal is to come with an air-launched unmanned weapons system that could use a multitude of air-to-air weapons, but also come with increased range. In essence, these drones are to become what manned aircraft are today, capable of getting deep inside enemy territory and strike.
As per the requirements of the project, the ones that were made public at least, the new drone should be capable of multi-modal propulsion, but also capable of being deployed from the existing fighter aircraft and bombers.

The design phase announced by DARPA is just the first of many, which should conclude on an unannounced date with a full-scale air-launched demonstration system. The main photo of this piece is how Northrop Grumman’s proposal for the project might look like.

"Our collaboration with DARPA is the critical first step in the development of innovative operational concepts and solutions that will enhance our warfighter’s combat capability against a rapidly growing threat,” said Jaime Engdahl, program director, kinetic weapons and emerging capabilities, Northrop Grumman.

“The LongShot program enables us to combine our digital engineering skillset with our extensive knowledge in advanced technology weapons, autonomous systems and strike platforms to increase weapon range and effectiveness.”

As for the other two involved in this early stage of LongShot, General Atomics and Lockheed Martin, they both decided not to show a rendering of their work yet. DARPA did not provide a timeframe for when the designs should be ready.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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