Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The futurists got this one right. UAV swarms are a thing and we just saw the next evolution in warfare...

via The Drive.
Russia is advancing a conspiracy theory, without providing any evidence, which suggests a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon patrol plane may have been involved in an attack on its Khmeimim Air Base in Syria. The incident has been highly embarrassing for Russian authorities, coming after President Vladimir Putin declared total victory over terrorists in the country, and the Kremlin is increasingly insistent that it could not have occurred without direct foreign support.
Story here. 

I can't stand futurists.  For the most part they're just a bunch of idiots that throw shit against the wall in the hopes that some of it sticks.

But I can't lie.

They got this one right.

I've heard talk of drone swarms and haven't been impressed. 

Until now.

Forget all the posturing that you're seeing surrounding the news of the swarm attack on the Russian base.  Forget all the talk of foreign assistance to make it happen (quite honestly I hope to GOD! that these primitives had help or the world just got several magnitudes more dangerous for us all!).

The stark reality is that this shit is real.  I didn't post on this because of other things that I felt were more compelling stories but in hindsight this is a wakeup call.  Check this out via Popular Mechanics...
At the close of the Global Fortune Forum in Guangzhou on Dec. 7, the event's hosts set a world record for the largest drone swarm ever deployed. For 9 minutes, 1,180 drones danced and blinked out an aerial show. It was cool. It was also an interesting look into the potential future of aviation.

According to an executive at Ehang UAVs, which provided the swarm, each drone cost $1,500, which is pretty darn cheap considering their capabilities. Take, for instance, the datalink and software used. It lets more than 1,000 flying robots coordinate autonomously and synchronize movements, with a flight deviancy of a mere 2 centimeters horizontally and 1 centimeter vertically. If something goes wrong and a drone can't reach its programmed position, it automatically lands.
Story here. 

1000 drones?  All flying in formation?  Cheap as hell?  Easily programmable?

Maybe I have a too active imagination but damn.  This is the stuff that nightmares are made of.

SOCOM loads up on a futuristic tilt rotor airplane to conduct a deep raid to take out a high value target?  Instead of launching hundreds of missiles they instead launch thousands of drones to kamikaze into the aircraft!

Same applies to a forward airfield, staging base....logistics depo....and that applies to basic drones that are available today (as we saw with the Russian experience).

What happens when the drones get smarter, have more endurance, can go faster but remain just as small?

Do we have radars that can detect low flying bird sized objects?  Do we have weapon systems that can effectively engage them, yet are economical enough to actually use with a magazine capacity large enough to deal with huge numbers of them?

One other thing.

I know some fucker at HQMC is shouting at the ceiling saying that stupid bastard SNAFU! finally gets it.

Well sorta.

But the same problem applies in spades to dispersed units.  How will a Company Landing Team deal with a swarm of 1000 drones?  The problem remains.  They're too small to effectively deal with potential trouble and once they're found, fixed in location by concentrated artillery barrages, they can be destroyed in place....only now the enemy won't have to risk manned aircraft or even expensive UAVs to do it.

Much to my surprise the futurists got this one right and I'm not happy about it.  The future battlefield is scary as fuck now.  We just got a small taste of it but most people are so busy chasing BS conspiracy theories (whether true or not) and missing the bigger issue.

We just saw the next evolution in warfare and most missed it.

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