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SideArm: DARPA’s Giant Drone Catcher

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Meet SideArm: a portable system that can horizontally launch and retrieve unmanned aerial systems up to 900 pounds. It fits in a 20-foot shipping container and can be transported by truck, rail, helicopter or a C-130 transport aircraft. A crew of up to 4 people is required to set up the system.

A prototype of this system was recently tested, successfully capturing a 400-pound Lockheed Martin Fury UAS. SideArm captures vehicles using a hook, directing them down a single rail to decelerate in a controlled fashion.

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