Captured! Dynetics Completes Historic Gremlins Air Recovery Mission (2024)

Huntsville, Ala., November 15, 2021- Dynetics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Leidos, achieved a new milestone in unmanned aviation by successfully launching and retrieving an X-61A Gremlins Air Vehicle (GAV) during the program's fourth flight test event in October at the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Tactical Technology Office manages the Gremlins program.

As part of the fourth test series, the Gremlins Demonstration System flew three GAVs, previously flown in 2020, to conduct four individual flight sorties for a combined 6.7 hours of flight, including the 1.4-hour airborne recovery mission. The testing pace required a quick-turn refurbishment for one of the GAVs that took approximately 24 hours to complete.

"The Dynetics Gremlins team has accomplished an incredible engineering feat that we believe will ultimately have a significant impact on our country's military capabilities. We have demonstrated the feasibility for an aircraft to launch and perform airborne recovery of a reusable UAS," said Tim Keeter, Dynetics Gremlins program manager. "In less than five years, we have developed novel system concepts, constructed and validated high fidelity simulation models, designed and manufactured the demonstration system, performed extensive subsystem and integrated systems in our laboratories and conducted multiple flight test events to learn and refine what is needed to safely capture a highly-capable autonomous X-plane onto a manned cargo aircraft."

Dynetics built five X-61As and has flown nine sorties totaling 18 hours of total flight time. During this test series, one GAV was lost due to a power issue, where root cause was identified, confirmed and successfully implemented.Three of the original five units are available for future activities.

Another key aspect of the Gremlins Demonstration System is the roll-on /roll-off Recovery System, which includes a stabilized towed docking device, an all-electric retrieval arm assembly, a mission control console which provides the ability for a single operator to control up to four X-61As and the ability to securely stow four recovered GAVs in flight. Installation and check out of the Recovery System can be performed in under 4 hours with a removal time of about 2 hours.

"Each time we flew, we collected critical data and gained valuable insights we used to refine the system for the next series of tests, which ultimately resulted in a successful fully autonomous recovery. As excited as we all are about this important program milestone, we are not finished," Keeter added. "We are already reviewing our test data and assessing the next steps for this program with DARPA as well as other interested parties. This, of course, points to a second major program objective for Gremlins: multiple-GAV recoveries at operationally-relevant rates to demonstrate that airborne recovery isn't just possible - it's repeatable, reliable, and expandable to swarms of systems."

Dynetics was one of four companies awarded a Phase 1 contract for the Gremlins program in 2016.Phase 2was awarded in March 2017 to two of the initial four performers andPhase 3followed in April 2018.Themaiden flight of the X-61Aoccurred in November 2019, flying as predicted with no anomalies in the operational system. Thesecond flight testwas in July 2020 and thethird testseries occurred in November 2020.

About Dynetics

Dynetics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Leidos, provides responsive, cost-effective engineering, scientific, IT solutions to the national security, cybersecurity, space, and critical infrastructure sectors. Our portfolio features highly specialized technical services and a range of software and hardware products, including components, subsystems, and complex end-to-end systems. The company of more than 3,000 employees is based in Huntsville, Ala., and has offices throughout the U.S.

About Leidos

Leidos is a Fortune 500® technology, engineering, and science solutions and services leader working to solve the world's toughest challenges in the defense, intelligence, civil, and health markets. The company's 43,000 employees support vital missions for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Leidos reported annual revenues of approximately $12.30 billion for the fiscal year ended January 1, 2021. For more information,

Statements in this announcement, other than historical data and information, constitute forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause our actual results, performance, achievements, or industry results to be very different from the results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Some of these factors include, but are not limited to, the risk factors set forth in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ended January 1, 2021 and other such filings that Leidos makes with the SEC from time to time. Due to such uncertainties and risks, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof.

Captured! Dynetics Completes Historic Gremlins Air Recovery Mission (2024)


What is the gremlins program? ›

Named for the imaginary, mischievous imps that became the good luck charms of many British pilots during World War II, the program envisions launching groups of UASs from existing large aircraft such as bombers or transport aircraft—as well as from fighters and other small, fixed-wing platforms—while those planes are ...

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A gremlin is a mischievous folkloric creature invented at the beginning of the 20th century to originally explain malfunctions in aircraft, and later in other machinery, processes, and their operators. Depictions of these creatures vary widely.

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While some critics criticized the film's depictions of violence and greed—such as death scenes, Kate's speech, and the gremlins' gluttony—for lacking comic value, scholar Charlotte Miller instead interpreted these as a satire of "some characteristics of Western civilization", suggesting that Westerners may take too ...

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Enter the “feral gremlin theory,” where the cuddly Gizmo-style mogwai is actually a domesticated subspecies of the naturally occurring, scaly gremlin race. Big if true! Finally, everything seems to fit neatly into place.

Is Gremlins school appropriate? ›

Gremlins is a comedic, horror movie. Made in 1984, its special effects don't compare to today's standards, though they were cutting edge at the time. While some may consider this a family movie, the graphic violence, scary scenes and coarse language make it widely unsuitable for most children.

What is gremlin mindset? ›

We all have little gremlins in our minds. Some of us believe ourselves to be unworthy and of little value to anyone. Some of us believe we are not enough. Not good enough, not strong enough, not clever enough, not pretty enough … the list of 'not enoughs' is endless.


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