Future U.S. Drones May Carry Dozens Of Miniature Weapons At Once

Warzone/The Drive: These Pods Could Let Drones Carry Throngs of Small Smart Bombs And It’s Just The Start

Similar dispensers could allow an individual aircraft to carry hundreds and maybe even thousands of the weapons at once.

The U.S. Army is considering the Hatchet miniature munition, a tiny precision glide bomb, as a possible future armament option for its MQ-1C Gray Eagle drones together with dispenser pods that could let a single one of the unmanned aircraft carry dozens of them at a time. At the same time, the manufacturer, Northrop Grumman, is proposing larger systems that would enable MQ-9 Reapers in service with the U.S. Air Force to carry hundreds of the weapons on a single mission.

Orbital ATK first unveiled Hatchet, which weighs approximately eight pounds and has a three-pound warhead, in 2012. Northrop Grumman finished its acquisition of the Virginia-headquartered defense and space systems firm, in June 2018, subsequently renaming it as their Innovation Systems division.

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WNU Editor: More drone firepower appears to be the goal, and this is one method to accomplish it.

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