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Mitsubishi Heavy prepares controller for drones 1,000 km away

Fighter jet technology promises to direct flights of dozens of drones at a time

Mitsubishi Heavy is aiming to generate $95.7 million in sales by adapting defense technologies for private sector uses like controlling unmanned aerial vehicles. (Source photo by Reuters)

TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is borrowing from its fighter jet technology to roll out a system that promises to control dozens of commercial drones from as far as 1,000 km away, a crucial advancement from today's standard that allows for a single drone to be controlled if it is within a few kilometers.

The heavy machinery maker aims to launch the system sometime in the next fiscal year, ending March 2022. The technology has nonmilitary uses, in weather prediction for disaster prevention purposes as well as in maintaining power and telecom cables.

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