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The US Army Wants a Missile Filled With Drones

January 19, 2017 (Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The US Army wants a missile capable of releasing a cluster of drones during flight in order to hit multiple targets.

After being released from the missile, the payload of “quad-copters” would decelerate, identify targets, land on the targets and detonate attached munitions, which the solicitation calls “explosively formed penetrators (EFP).”

“The ultimate goal is to produce a missile deployable, long range UAS swarm that can deliver small EFPs to a variety of targets. This will serve as a smart augmentation to the standard missile warhead,” according to the Department of Defense request.

Possible targets named in the solicitation are tanks and large caliber gun barrels, vehicle roofs, fuel storage barrels, and ammunition storage sites.

While the technology is meant for military use, “other payloads could be used for remote sensing into dangerous/hazardous areas,” the solicitation stated.

Earlier this month, the Pentagon in a test launched a swarm of 103 Perdix microdrones from three separate F/A-18 Super Hornets. The swarm demonstrated advanced behavior such as "collective decision-making, adaptive formation flying, and self-healing," according to a DoD statement.

Applications for the Army’s air platform request are due Feb. 8.
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