DARPA

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Raytheon Technologies and Northrop Grumman have commenced the fourth experiment with groups of autonomous vehicles designed to support future small infantry operations in an urban environment.

DARPA said Friday the two companies demonstrated ground and aircraft systems during the OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics field test that took place at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. 

The swarms worked to track and gather items across a multistage operational setting, the agency noted.

“Being able to test large-scale swarms in complex urban environments will allow us to extract new insights into the best ways to use a swarm, especially as our field tests increase in size, complexity and duration," said Timothy Chung, OFFSET program manager at DARPA's Tactical Technology Office.

Northrop and Raytheon use data from the agency's experimentation personnel to generate insight-based approaches for managing succeeding test runs and technology development efforts.

Both companies will continue to integrate technologies into the swarm systems, with the help of swarm sprinters including Northwestern University, Michigan Tech Research Institute and Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

The agency named Northrop and Raytheon as OFFSET integrators in late 2017.

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