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Mar 30, 2020, 08:28 PM
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Grumman's XRQ-72A Great Horned Owl

"Nearly a decade ago, the U.S. Intelligence Community began work on an experimental ultra-quiet, high-efficiency reconnaissance drone with an advanced hybrid-electric propulsion system. Very limited details about this secretive project, known as Great Horned Owl, have emerged since then. Now, The War Zone can share previously unseen schematics and other details about the resulting stealthy flying-wing-shaped unmanned aircraft called the XRQ-72A, which Scaled Composites, a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman well known for producing advanced aircraft designs, developed.

"The War Zone obtained the information via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the U.S. Air Force. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) supported the Great Horned Owl program, which the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) first disclosed in 2011. IARPA is one of the Intelligence Community's top research and development arms and answers to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It's not clear which intelligence agency or agencies may have had requirements that led to the Great Horned Owl effort, but the CIA has operated a variety of drones with a wide range of capabilities over the years to conduct various missions."
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