Total Insanity as Reported in The Washington Post – Pentagon Testing Top-Secret Swarming ‘Micro Drones’ That Launch from Fighter Jets
Here’s a scary story: the government’s Strategic Capabilities Office is reportedly testing drones that are capable of swarming together after launching out of a fighter jet. That might sound like something from the future or even a movie like Avatar, but it’s a fact, according to The Washington Post.
The news outlet said the Pentagon began its tests in Alaska last summer where it flew F-18 and F-16 fighter jets equipped with prototype “micro-drones” that were blasted out of flare launchers. They’re bigger than the locusts pictured above, weighing in at about 1 pound each. The jets are reportedly capable of deploying the swarming drones at high-speeds and 2,000 feet off the earth, making the feat even more impressive and scary if weaponized!
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The Pentagon’s secretive Strategic Capabilities Office has been testing micro-drones that can be dropped from moving fighter jets for nearly two years — and for the first time, there is video to show it.
The Pentagon released a 2014 clip of the program’s testing to The Washington Post and allowed the newspaper to photograph the one-pound aircraft in an office setting after the director of the Strategic Capabilities Office, William Roper, agreed to a rare interview. It marks one of the first times that images of the micro-drones have been released, and underscores the unusual ways in which the Defense Department is considering incorporating unmanned aircraft.
The video released to The Post shows a flare canister falling after being released from an F-16 fighter jet over Alaska. A tiny parachute slows its fall until the canister breaks open, releasing the drone inside. Another video reviewed by The Post, but not yet released, shows the micro-drones flying in packs of at least 20.
The program is named Perdix, after a character in Greek mythology who was changed into a partridge by the god Athena. It costs about $20 million — less than the price of a single fighter jet — and calls for SCO to figure out a way to launch drones from fighter jets, with all the constraints that might entail.
“There are a lot of what would seem like unfuturistic considerations that are the biggest drivers of that program,” Roper said. “It’s not like there’s a trunk in the fighter where ‘Oh, we’ll just put these in the trunk and kick it out.’”
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