A Swarm of Ideas

drone swarm

I have for some time thought that swarming UAV’s using off the shelf technology offers a glimpse of a transformative capability that we have very little defence against, a previous post looked at how low cost commercially available UAV’s had provided invaluable intelligence and targeting information for Libyan rebel forces.

Technology moves on, these three videos show the rapid pace of development and whilst it is a stretch to look at the clever acrobatics on display here and a militarily useful system it is something we should be paying attention to, simply because it is disruptive and blasting CAMM and Starstreak at a swarm of weaponised UAV’s has only as much life as it takes to run out of missiles.

Our enemies do not need to play by the same rules as us, cluster munitions or chemical weapons with a simple fuse or remote detonation system could cause disproportionate losses. Go up a notch and consider what would happen if a couple of hundred of these flew over an armoured formation, each one equipped with an explosively formed munition.

Consider the cost differential as well.

It doesn’t even need to be weaponised either, a simple camera and frequency hopping transmitter provide the kind of real-time intelligence that has usually been the sole preserve of nation-states militaries.

Lift performance might be limited to showing off and not much more but this will change and the really clever stuff embedded in the control systems will equally move fast.

Are we ready?

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