Monday, February 08, 2021

DARPA's LongShot program


via Press Release

DARPA's LongShot program, which is developing an air-launched unmanned air vehicle (UAV) with the ability to employ multiple air-to-air weapons, has awarded contracts to General Atomics, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman for preliminary Phase I design work. The objective is to develop a novel UAV that can significantly extend engagement ranges, increase mission effectiveness, and reduce the risk to manned aircraft.

Current air superiority concepts rely on advanced manned fighter aircraft to provide a penetrating counter air capability to effectively deliver weapons. It is envisioned that LongShot will increase the survivability of manned platforms by allowing them to be at standoff ranges far away from enemy threats, while an air-launched LongShot UAV efficiently closes the gap to take more effective missile shots.

“The LongShot program changes the paradigm of air combat operations by demonstrating an unmanned, air-launched vehicle capable of employing current and advanced air-to-air weapons,” said DARPA program manager Lt. Col. Paul Calhoun. “LongShot will disrupt traditional incremental weapon improvements by providing an alternative means of generating combat capability.”

In later phases of the program, LongShot will construct and fly a full-scale air-launched demonstration system capable of controlled flight, before, during, and after weapon ejection under operational conditions.

The future air war is gonna be wild and wholly!

The F-15EX is a real deal missile truck that can turn and burn.  Now?  Now DARPA is working on an unmanned missile truck concentrated on ONLY air to air.

Those flare dispensers better be full cause the skies will be filled with predators taking out aircraft in the sky and from the ground.  We haven't even started talking about lasers/jamming and all the other stuff the sky boys use to do work.

I guess it was predictable though.

Seems like we're putting all our eggs into the air superiority basket to win the next war.  The Marine Corps is out of the ground combat game and the Army will be stretched thin.

If air power can't give the guys on the ground clear skies to operate under then we're to the point of not standing a chance against enemy ground forces.

Its really weird in my opinion.  The Japanese went thru these same gyrations. First they focused on keeping us off the beaches, then it was to pin us to the beach and not let us advance and then they finally let us have almost unopposed landings and fought us inland.

We're doing the WW2 thing in reverse with probably the same results. 

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