C-130 Achieves a First, Retrieves a Gremlin Drone in Flight

A C-130 mothership recovered a DARPA “Gremlin” drone in an October 29 test, dragging it back into the C-130’s cargo bay from which it was launched. The recovery showed that it is technically feasible to retrieve a small drone and put it back into a mothership while in flight. The test program has faced challenges--an X-61 drone was destroyed during the first of four flight tests carried out in October. Defensenews.com notes that the DARPA program must show it can recover 4 drones within 30 minutes to be operationally relevant. Dynetics’ Gremlins program manager Tim Keeter said that achieving this goal could “dramatically expand” the military’s ability to carry out distributed airborne operations. Illustrations courtesy of DARPA

Thanks to CDR David Place (USN/Ret), davidplace47[at]gmail[dot]com, and Robin E. Alexander, President ATC, alexander technical[at]gmail[dot]com, for their assistance with this report, the background for which appeared in their  # 21 - 28 - 20 NOVEMBER 2021 edition of the UNMANNED SYSTEMS NEWS (USN).

David distributes the USN, a free, comprehensive newsletter in PDF format every week or two, as well as serial news flashes, from which this NREF news update was sourced. To be included in his distribution, simply send David a subscribe request to davidplace47[at]gmail[dot]com.