DARPA Wants The U.S. Navy To Have A Fleet Of 355 Aircraft Carriers

Zachary Keck

Key point: Tern would help the United States overcome this issue by greatly increasing the number of targets China or another U.S. adversary would have to strike in order to destroy America’s strike capabilities.

The U.S. Navy is seeking to transform every ship into mini aircraft carriers.

Last month the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced the start of the second phase of its Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node (TERN) program. TERN, a joint program between DARPA and the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR), aims to create a system that would enable small ships to operate both intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and combat drones.

“The goal of Tern is to give forward-deployed small ships the ability to serve as mobile launch and recovery sites for medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial systems (UAS),” DARPA said in a press release announcing Phase 2 of the program. “These systems could provide long-range intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and other capabilities over greater distances and time periods than is possible with current assets.”

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