The US Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is working on LongShot drones that carry their own air-to-air missiles and are launched from aircraft.

The drones that are more likely to have a say in the future air battles and the projects developed in this context have gained momentum. One of the projects that the USA has invested heavily in is the “LongShot” project developed under the leadership of the US Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
LongShot, DARPA’s own air-to-air missile drone project, is being developed for a number of important and potentially superior features such as keeping human pilots away from existing threats and increasing the range of missiles in the inventory. The operating principle of the system is shaped by the LongShot launching from a war or bomber aircraft and carrying out their missions with at least two AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles.

Note that DARPA has signed contracts with General Atomics, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman as part of the first phase of the LongShot project. Northrop Grumman has even published the first concept design for LongShot (below). Unlike DARPA’s concept that resembles a cruise missile (above), the concept, which looks more like an airplane, seems to be inspired by the flying wing design. Similarly styled designs include Kratos Defense’s XQ58A Valkyrie and Boeing Australia’s Loyal Wingman.

The air-to-air missile range, which plays a critical role in air combat, outperformed the Russian and Chinese rivals with the AIM-120 AMRAAM radar-guided missile in the inventory of the US and NATO allies. However, the PL-15 and R-37M model very long-range air-to-air missiles developed both in China and Russia have the potential to change the balances. The AIM-120 AMRAAM is stated to have a range of 160 km, while Chinese and Russian missiles are said to have a range of approximately 194 km. This development, which means locking and firing the missiles of Russian and Chinese warplanes earlier, therefore means a serious advantage in an environment where the first shooter usually wins.

Let’s see how the LongShot project, which has the potential to change drone-powered future air combat, will take shape.

 

The drones that are more likely to have a say in the future air battles and the projects developed in this context have gained momentum. One of the projects that the USA has invested heavily in is the “LongShot” project developed under the leadership of the US Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
LongShot, DARPA’s own air-to-air missile drone project, is being developed for a number of important and potentially superior features such as keeping human pilots away from existing threats and increasing the range of missiles in the inventory. The operating principle of the system is shaped by the LongShot launching from a war or bomber aircraft and carrying out their missions with at least two AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles.

Note that DARPA has signed contracts with General Atomics, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman as part of the first phase of the LongShot project. Northrop Grumman has even published the first concept design for LongShot (below). Unlike DARPA’s concept that resembles a cruise missile (above), the concept, which looks more like an airplane, seems to be inspired by the flying wing design. Similarly styled designs include Kratos Defense’s XQ58A Valkyrie and Boeing Australia’s Loyal Wingman.

The air-to-air missile range, which plays a critical role in air combat, outperformed the Russian and Chinese rivals with the AIM-120 AMRAAM radar-guided missile in the inventory of the US and NATO allies. However, the PL-15 and R-37M model very long-range air-to-air missiles developed both in China and Russia have the potential to change the balances. The AIM-120 AMRAAM is stated to have a range of 160 km, while Chinese and Russian missiles are said to have a range of approximately 194 km. This development, which means locking and firing the missiles of Russian and Chinese warplanes earlier, therefore means a serious advantage in an environment where the first shooter usually wins.

Let’s see how the LongShot project, which has the potential to change drone-powered future air combat, will take shape.

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