Gremlin is a low-cost, reusable unmanned aircraft designed to be used in swarms. 

Phase III of programme has now started according to reports.

Gremlins will be launched from existing military aircraft while out of range of adversary defences say Dynetics, the company behind them.

The Gremlins architecture enables other critical technologies such as advanced payloads, autonomous operations, and distributed battle management of swarming systems. When Gremlins complete their mission, a C-130 transport aircraft retrieves them in the air and transports them to a base of operations where ground crews refurbish and prepare them for their next use within 24 hours.

Dynetics Gremlins Timeline:

  • March 2016:Dynetics was one of four companies awarded a Phase 1 contract for preliminary studies to pave the way for a proof-of-concept flight demonstration that validates an air recovery concept for multiple Gremlins.
  • March 2017:Dynetics advanced to Phase 2—Technology Maturation, in which we develop a detailed system design and mature technologies that are critical to achieving the challenging goals of Gremlins.
  • May 2018:Dynetics was selected as the top performer to finalize the design and ultimately demonstrate the ability to launch Gremlins air vehicles and then safely recover them onto a C-130 aircraft.


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Sceptical Richard

Launching is one thing but I wouldn’t want to be in the C-130 recovering these things! What are they for anyway? Confuse enemy air defences?

Ben P

Everything. They move around in a swarm and then suicide dive in to targets, be it a tank, platoon of infantry or an AA position.


UAV’s are so cheap now they are can almost be considered disposable. They would be useful for saturation of air defenses, but also better perspective for target analysis etc, a bit like 20 Camera’s on a football pitch. The Israeli’s use them effectively in Syria as bait for their SAM systems before sending in F16’s

Peter Crisp

It makes perfect sense to me as cheap drones can now provide some pretty amazing video footage and I’m sure they can bung on other sensors inexpensively as well. It wouldn’t surprise me if we had a system where someone in a helicopter can send out a bunch and everyone in the area can just choose the picture they need. From a pure tactical point of view this should be very handy and should make city battles much less deadly and again this is all for the price of off the shelf drones and camera’s with maybe a modification to… Read more »

Steve M

Call of Duty coming closer and closer.

Peter Crisp

Only if they downgrade the graphics of reality, add wall running and make every soldier talk like an 1830’s chimney sweep.


I don’t really get the point of these, they sound cool but seem pretty ineffective. They will be pretty slow and for sure sub-sonic, and so all the enemy has to do is roll out some WW2 style flakk guns and carpet the swam with bullets. Plus if they are going to be cheap, their internal guidance system is going to be pretty basic, meaning the will have to rely on a datalink, which could be jammed. Ok, if you send enough, a few will get through, and i guess if you consider the cost of a tomahawk is around… Read more »