Pentagon Working on Drones That Vanish in Thin Air After Mission

In 2011, Iran captured an American drone (unmanned aerial vehicle UAV) Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel and claimed that the drone was taken down by its cyber wing.

Now, to avoid such incidents in the future, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency‘s (DARPA) ICARUS project has managed to produce such equipment that can disappear in thin air. This way, even if the equipment is captured by enemies, it would be of no use.

Inbound Controlled Air-Releasable Unrecoverable Systems (ICARUS), which is a product of a military research agency’s program (Vanishing Program Resources), has finally succeeded in designing electronic parts that can destruct themselves on a molecular level.

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In a DARPA news release, Troy Olsson (manager of both projects) said, “With the progress made in VAPR, it became plausible to imagine building larger, more robust structures using these materials for an even wider array of applications.”

Olsson gave the example of one-way delivery of supplies in war zones or disaster areas.

He said:

Vanishing delivery vehicles could extend military and civilian operational capabilities in extenuating circumstances where currently there are no means to provide additional support.”

By putting $8 million of funding upfront, ICARUS is believed to investigate the possibilities of this project for the next 2 years, says DefenseOne.

Listen to the news:


DARPA is a defense agency that works for the US military by researching and developing emerging technologies. The agency said in the press release that it hopes that a better outcome would be seen compared to the Icarus (Greek mythology), where the so-called person flew too close to the sun on his wax wings. He drowned in the ocean after the wax wings melted.

VAPR program centers on developing devices that disappear after use on the battlefield to prevent recovery by enemy forces. One of the materials developed called polymer panels dissipate in a puff of smoke by changing from solid phase to a gas phase.


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