SAN DIEGO. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) is poised to begin the flight-testing phase on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) LongShot program. Begun in 2020, General Atomics was competitively awarded a contract to develop DARPA’s concept for disruptive air combat operations through demonstration of an air-to-air weapons capable air vehicle. The concept seeks to significantly increase engagement range and mission effectiveness of current 4th gen fighters and air-to-air missiles.
Over the last three years, GA-ASI has iterated on numerous vehicle designs to optimize performance and will complete the design enroute to flight testing in 2024. The testing will validate basic vehicle handling characteristics and lay the foundation for follow-on development and testing.
“We are extremely excited to get in the air!” said Mike Atwood, Vice President of Advanced Aircraft Programs at GA-ASI. “Flight testing will validate digital designs that have been refined throughout the course of the project. General Atomics is dedicated to leveraging this process to rapidly deliver innovative unmanned capabilities for national defense.”