Center for Strategic Assessment and forecasts

Autonomous non-profit organization

Home / Defence and security / New in the military / Articles
Battle swarm: the U.S. army called for "gremlins"
Material posted: Publication date: 21-05-2018
Currently in the United States begins the third phase of the program Gremlin, which involves the creation of small and relatively inexpensive aircraft that can be run from Board combat and transport aircraft. The Gremlin program will lay the Foundation for future use of swarms of UAVS.

Management of perspective research projects of the Ministry of defense (DARPA) formed a team of corporations and companies, which must cope with the task of capturing an unmanned aircraft in flight, reports Defense News. This will be the third phase of the program implementation Gremlin.

"The idea of the Gremlin program is to create a small and relatively inexpensive aircraft that can be launched from aboard combat aircraft", — explained "Газете.Ru" chief editor of the magazine "unmanned aircraft" Denis Fedutinov.

As reported by the source publication, the new drones will be possible to equip military transport aircraft (C-130), shock drones (MQ-9B), bombers (b-52, b-1), fighters (F-16, F-15E, F-18) and other aircraft. The machine can cover a distance of up to 550 km and stay aloft for about an hour.

Company Sierra Nevada Corporation was selected by DARPA for the final phase of the program Gremlin, which will eventually allow you to launch swarms of drones with the US air force aircraft outside the areas of destruction of the air defenses of a potential enemy.

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) will provide BLAH, created the program Gremlin, Autonomous docking system.

This will allow military transport aircraft type C-130 to capture the UAV in flight at the end of the drone mission. Then the plane BTA will deliver blah BLAH to the airbase where the drones will be prepared for a new mission in 24 hours.

In the selection of SNC for the third phase of the program Gremlin took part aircraft Corporation Dynetics. The latter has developed a capture device that deploys on a military transport plane C-130. This mechanism will allow for the docking of the UAV in the air, and then raise drones in the cargo Bay of a C-130.

The third and final phase of the program Gremlin must demonstrate all the new technologies developed during the previous two competitive phases of the programme. During the first two phases of the project the number of participating companies decreased from four to one.

"The previous successes of the Corporation SNC with Autonomous refueling of UAVS in the air and achieve the necessary accuracy in navigation was quite sufficient to ensure that the firm Dynetics planned to be achieved in the implementation of the program Gremlins" — said the first Vice-President of business development and technology business area electronic and information systems of the Corporation SNC Greg Cox.

The user interface and the necessary delivery mechanisms for UAVS will provide a third member, chosen by DARPA, the firm Kutta Technology, a subsidiary of SNC. The role of this company will be to develop a management station to ensure safe flight of UAVS in the Gremlin program, starting from start and ending with the preparation for a new mission.

Earlier this month, DARPA announced that the co-operation of subcontractors has successfully tested the technology Gremlin during flight tests at the site of Yuma. Thus, there is a strong belief that the program is launching drones from the aircraft and their preparation for re-flight will be implemented in full by the end of 2019.

"Previous flight tests gave us belief that we can achieve our goal — to prepare for a new mission four apparatus of the type Gremlin after only 30 minutes," said the program Manager in the Tactical technology office DARPA Scott Wierzbinski.

In April of this year, the Office of advanced research projects of the Ministry of defense concluded with the company Dynetics 21-month contract worth $38.6 million to implement the third phase of the program Gremlin. Other players — companies and corporations Kratos Unmanned Aerial Systems, Moog, Airborne Systems, Systima, Applied Systems Engineering, Inc., finally, International Air Response.

"The idea of organizing the interaction of multiple UAVS based on the concept of "flock" or "swarm" was proposed by the American developers about 10 years ago," said the "Газете.Ru" Denis Fedutinov.

According to him, they are to ensure joint work of the group BLAH is not through a predetermined flight plan for each individual apparatus, and through the creation of self-adapts to the changing combat situation system implementing group behaviors without the presence of a single decision-making center, similar to the behavior within natural groups such as a flock, or swarm.

"Roy" with benefits

First, the advantage of the concept of the "swarm" is the reduction of possibilities to counter these gregarious BLAH of the forces and means of antiaircraft defense of the opposing side.

Second, when using control algorithms that do not use the communication between the UAV based on the radio, reduced the vulnerability of such flocks from the effects of the forces and means of enemy electronic warfare.

Third, the gregarious behaviour contributes to the effectiveness of group action at the expense of the reconfigurable system and the redistribution of tasks within the group, including at retirement, or include in its structure a number of devices.

The ability to effectively solve combat tasks by applying the concepts, and solutions at low cost was evaluated by the us military.

This idea has received positive feedback from representatives of the Pentagon, and later the subject came under the auspices of DARPA.

Approaches to implement the schooling of UAVS, in particular, were studied with the use of small low-cost UAVs Perdix.

It is known that trials were conducted based on the data of unmanned vehicles systems from ground and air the start. The greatest resonance was caused by the information held in 2016 trials, which involved more than 100 units of BLAH. The launch was made from the special containers located on Board the aircraft F/A-18.

A new stage in the implementation of the concept of schooling application is to provide not only the launch of many UAVS from the side of a "plane of uterus", but their subsequent selection to ensure repeated use, as expected, can be implemented in the short term.

"The success demonstrated by American software companies in this direction, allow with high probability to assume that before the start of the practical application of a swarm of unmanned aerial vehicles, including aboard aircraft carriers, remained quite a bit of time," concluded Denis Fedutinov.


Tags: assessment , science , AME

RELATED MATERIALS: Defence and security