March 24 (UPI) -- General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. is continuing development of an air-launched and mid-air recoverable drone system for the U.S. military.
The project, called Gremlins, was commissioned by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Gremlins is to enable aircraft to launch and recover volleys of reusable unmanned aircraft systems that would be deployed with a mixture of mission payloads to deliver a variety of effects.
"GA-ASI is committed to the development of an unmanned distributed sensing and targeting system to support tomorrow's warfighter," David Alexander, president for Aircraft Systems at GA-ASI, said in a press release. "At the same time, we see the potential for using this technology on our own Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper RPA (remotely piloted aircraft) to offer our customers new mission capabilities."
GA-ASI received a Phase 1 contract for the Gremlins program last year. Phase 2 work is to mature the design and perform in-flight risk reduction testing for the Gremlins' C-130-based recovery system.
Phase 2 activities will include Preliminary Design Review for the aircraft and recovery system, ground testing to validate key technologies, and flight testing to demonstrate safety and recovery system performance.
GA-ASI said an air launch and recovery demonstration is expected to take place in 2019.