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US ‘Gremlin’ drones designed to cause missile defense mayhem


Nicknamed the ‘Gremlins’ program, an audacious US government-backed plan to use swarms of drones to disrupt enemy missile defense systems is under development.

Four firms, including fighter jet manufacturer Lockheed Martin, have been brought on board by Pentagon security agency DARPA to turn the idea of low-cost reusable decoys, capable of jamming enemy radar, into a reality.

The unmanned aircraft are part of a strategy named after mischievous mythical devils that were said to bring down aircraft. The idea of gremlins destroying the inner workings of enemy planes became a symbol of good luck for the Royal Air Force during World War II.

DARPA are hoping to take that disruptive spirit and apply it to a series of probes designed to minimize the risk to US fighter pilots, while maximizing enemy costs during combat missions.

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