US defence research firm Darpa (Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency) has created a concept system for catching drones in mid-flight, allowing them to land undamaged.

Drones are a common part of modern warfare, but on occasion may need to land – a difficult concept in the midst of a battlefield or if they have to be remote-guided back onto a US Navy ship.

The defence firm believes it has a solution called SideArm.

The system comprises a line, which attaches to a hook on the back of the drone that then slows it down so that a net can catch it, using barbs to hold it in place.

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Darpa says SideArm can be operated by between two and four people and could be deployed either on land or aboard a navy ship.

It forms part of a joint programme between the research firm and the US Navy’s Office of Naval Research to develop drones and related technologies that can be applied to small ships.

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