The Mystery Customer for Palmer Luckey’s Aircraft-Killing Drone Is U.S. Special Forces

Records reviewed by 404 Media reveal that U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has signed at least $12.5 million to buy the new autonomous aircraft.
The Roadrunner aircraft and the budget document.
Images by Anduril and 404 Media. Collage by 404 Media.

U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has paid over ten million dollars for a new autonomous aircraft made by Anduril, the defense startup run by Palmer Luckey, which is capable of carrying explosive warheads and taking down other aircraft, or re-landing itself if it doesn’t engage in an attack, 404 Media has found. 

On Friday, Anduril announced the existence of the person-size drone called “Roadrunner.” In his own Twitter thread, Luckey said Roadrunner has been “operationally validated with an existing U.S. government customer,” but did not name the agency. Multiple publications which appeared to have the news under embargo, including Bloomberg and Defense One, added that the company is not allowed to say which customer bought the technology. 

It took 404 Media around 25 seconds to find the customer is likely USSOCOM. 404 Media reviewed a procurement record that says USSOCOM signed for a piece of technology described as “Roadrunner,” and also found a reference to the technology in a Department of Defense budget estimation document for 2024.