I’ve taken the bullet on your behalf and ploughed through DARPA’s fiscal year 2009 budget request to look for goodies. Here’s what I’ve found.
New programmes for FY09:
Multi-Modal Missile – manportable surface-to-surface and surface-to-air weapon with direct and indirect fire modes against vehicles, bunkers, helicopters and UAVs.
Small UAV Strike Munition – inexpensive, lightweight precision-guided submunition to be delivered by a loitering weapon launched from an unmanned aircraft.
Stealthy, Persistent, Perch and Stare (SP2S) – a VTOL micro air vehicle based on the Aerovironment Wasp that will land on a perch, collect data and fly home.
FY09 funding for existing programmes:
Heliplane – $16m to demonstrate the tipjet-driven rotor for Groen Brothers’ high-speed gyroplane (assuming they succeed in FY08 in cutting tipjet noise by more than 10dB)
Oblique Flying Wing – $29.6m to begin construction of the unmanned X-plane demonstrator for Northrop Grumman’s supersonic, tailless variable-sweep asymmetric flying wing.
CASTLE – $7.5m to complete preliminary design of a persistent, unmanned gunship to be armed with electromagnetic guns, directed-energy weapons or vertical-launch missiles.
Rapid Eye – $15.9m to complete preliminary design of a rapid-reaction HALE UAV to be rocket-deployed from the US to anywhere in the world in 1-2h for ISR and comms missions.
Vulture – $11m to begin building a subscale demonstrator for a “pseudo-satellite” ISR UAV able to stay on station for more than five years. The demonstator goal is a year-long flight.