US plans to build aircraft cariers in the sky

It’s Hollywood sci-fi fantasy that has long eluded the Pentagon: a flying “mothership” that launches smaller aircraft. The Pentagon’s research agency out out a request to industry this month to outline how a large cargo plane could release drones to spy on or attack an enemy and then return to the flying aircraft carrier. The concept conjures up fantastical images from “The Avengers” film and the ‘StarCraft’ videogame, with large motherships sending out smaller craft – but there are no cloaking devices involved in this particular project.

At the moment, the Defenze Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is not close to constructing any test planes and is merely exploring the possibility on paper, officials and experts said. “This is the float-the-idea stage of the concept. It’s not the build-me-a-prototype stage. “We’re not to that yet,” said author Peter Singer, who has written extensively abouts robots and warfare. In a conceptual drawing from DARPA, a cargo plane resembling a C-130 releases a squadron of drones that look similar to Predator or Reaper aircraft. “We want to find ways to make similar aircraft more effective, and one promising idea is enabling existing large aircraft, with minimal modification, to become ‘aircraft carriers in the sky’, Dan Patt, the manager of he DARPA programme said.

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