DARPA’s groundbreaking LongShot initiative gets ready with its upcoming critical milestones, revolutionizing air combat capabilities and preparing for take-off with flight tests by 2024. 

As the Pentagon’s research and development wing, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is pioneering a revolutionary new technology – an air-launched drone carrying long-range missiles. 

DARPA’s state-of-the-art weapon system will revolutionize aerial combat, allowing fighter jets to strike targets at elevated distances and from various platforms such as aircraft carriers or land sites. 

With the successful completion of this project, military forces around the world have access to extended ranges with greater flexibility.

Creation of Novel Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

DARPA’s LongShot Program aims to create “novel UAVs” (unmanned aerial vehicles), which would have “multiple air-to-air weapons” capable of significantly extending engagement ranges, increasing mission effectiveness, and reducing risk to manned aircraft according to DARPA specifications.

The cutting-edge UAV will have an unprecedented capability, which can be launched from other aircraft while carrying multiple air-to-air weapons designed to reduce risks posed by crewed flight operations while boosting the effectiveness of its missions.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) edged out aerospace and defense giants Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman – which were initially awarded Phase 1 contracts for preliminary design work last year. 

GA-ASI remains a prime contractor as DARPA’s LongShot Program completes Phase 2 of the initiative this year and onwards to its final stage of development by next year.