Billionaire Palmer Luckey Unveils Jet-Powered VTOL Kamikaze Drone 

Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus, is positioning Anduril Industries, his Southern California startup defense firm, to challenge military-industrial complex giants such as Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, and General Dynamics. 

Luckey revealed on X that Anduril Industries has developed an affordable vertical takeoff and landing drone that can be reused on surveillance or kamikaze missions.

Anduril told Forbes that the US Special Operations Command signed a $12.5 million contract last year for the autonomous jet-powered drone called “Roadrunner. “

“Roadrunner-M is a variant model equipped with a high explosive warhead and Anduril seeker capable of intercepting, surveilling, and destroying fast-moving threats. It is effective against a wide range of threats, including full-size aircraft that cost 100x more,” Palmer wrote on X. 

The company said Roadrunner can travel at speeds upwards of 700 mph. It’s launched from a climate-controlled box called a “Nest.” 

Luckey is leveraging his Silicon Valley background to disrupt the defense sector. By establishing new facilities, factories, and manufacturing lines, his company aims to gain a competitive advantage over traditional defense contractors, which are often burdened with older factories and cost overruns. 

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