Coronavirus: United Kingdom, facing worst recession on record, sees GDP drop 20.4% in Q2

The UK has seen its economy, hit by the coronavirus crisis, suffer a "record" contraction of 20.4% in the second quarter, and is officially facing its worst recession on record, agency figures show National Statistics (ONS), published Wednesday 12 August. 
Economists consider that a country enters a technical recession when it accumulates two consecutive quarters of contraction in its economy. According to the ONS, most of the contraction, which began to be felt in March, occurred in April, an entire month of containment and almost total cessation of activity in the country, which saw production collapsed by 20%.

With a very early recovery in construction sites and manufacturing activity, gross domestic product (GDP) rebounded in May by 2.4% (revised figure), followed by an acceleration in June (+8.7 %) thanks in particular to the reopening of all shops. This is the biggest contraction in the UK economy since the ONS began these quarterly statistics in 1955, he said…

USA is developing "Gremlins", new drones that can be deployed directly in flight

The US agency responsible for the development of new military technologies (Darpa) announced in mid-January that it had successfully carried out the first tests of a new type of drone, capable of being dropped and recovered by an aircraft in mid-flight. The initial test would have taken place last November. After being dropped by a C-130A, the X-61A was said to have flown for just over an hour and a half.

This test is the third phase of a program called Gremlins, the objective of which is the development of a new range of unmanned drones, deployed in clouds, reusable and inexpensive to produce. Fleets could be deployed from aircraft away from theaters of operation, to provide better safety for operators. Once their missions are over, the "Gremlins" would be picked up directly in the air, before spending a day of repair and leaving.

The November test allowed the teams to collect enough data on the performance, operation and systems of aerial and ground command and control of the drones. One parachute failure resulted in the loss of one of the five aircraft. The other four, however, remain operational and available for further test runs planned for this year.

The next phase of the program will include a full assessment of the data collected, as well as an analysis of the failure to deploy the fifth drone’s parachute. A new test flight will follow in the spring at Dugway Proving Ground, a US military test site in Utah.

The X-61A "Gremlins" are developed by the Californian company Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, in collaboration with the company Dynectics, located in Alabama and specialized in computer systems.

Designed by Lockheed Martin, the C-130 is, for the time being, the only device used for Gremlins testing. But the services in charge of the program plan to adapt other planes for the transport of drones. The X-61A can carry up to 70 kg of sensors each, allowing them to perform a large number of different missions.