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DARPA is working on drones that disappear after delivering supplies

Delivering supplies to troops in remote areas isn’t all that difficult by itself, but when you need to do it stealthily, things become much more tricky. All of the delivery systems that the military currently uses are either inconvenient or risky, which is why DARPA is working to develop a new type of drone that will be able to completely disappear within a few hours of delivering supplies to troops. Camouflage and invisibility aren’t of interest to DARPA, it wants drones that will literally cease to exist in any recognizable form. 

It’s a giver’s problem. The drone you just sent to drop vital medical supplies to refuges fleeing the war is intercepted by opposing forces. Now, jihadists are making YouTube videos of themselves ripping apart your secret military equipment like they’re tearing open shiny packages. To solve the problem and address the many logistical issues that come from having to actually bring equipment home once it’s used in war, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, is funding a new research initiative to develop aircraft that can “fully vanish within within four hours of payload delivery or within 30 minutes of morning civil twilight (assuming a night drop), whichever is earlier,” the agency posted today. The program is called Inbound, Controlled, Air-Releasable, Unrecoverable Systems, or ICARUS, after the boy in Greek mythology who flew too close to the sun and saw his feather and wax wings melt. But the mission for this ICARUS is far simpler: the Pentagon wants to send drones on one-way trips.

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