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Sunday, April 19, 2015

273 Drone Aircraft Carriers? New DARPA Contract Could Be a Game Changer

Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node (TERN)The United States Navy boasts a "battle force" of 273 ships. Of these, only 10 are actual aircraft carriers. But what if every U.S. warship could become an "aircraft carrier" in a pinch?

Last month, the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Products Agency, or DARPA, announced progress on an idea that promises to do just this -- after a fashion. Wrapping up phase 1 of its Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node, or TERN, program, DARPA said it is ready to proceed to phase 2.

Two companies have been tapped to do the work: megadefense contractor Northrop Grumman and tiny drone maker AeroVironment.

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