Drone Swarm Future Of Military Warfare – Free PDF Download


  • And they are future of robotic warfare.
  • The Swarm war has begun
  • In 2019, 25 massed drones in two waves attacked the state-owned Saudi Aramco oil processing facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais.
  • Analysis of satellite images of the Abqaiq facility before and after the attacks showed 19 individual strikes. What was noteworthy  was that the Saudi air defence, including the  potent MIM-104 Patriot and Crotale NGs  failed to stop these waves of drones and  cruise missiles.
  • This demonstrates how a group of drones and cruise missiles coming from multiple  directions can escape undetected for long  and overwhelm conventional air defences.

  • A profound transformation in warfare is underway, based on advances in  two interconnected critical technologies related      to artificial intelligence and  machine autonomy. The convergence of these technologies is enabling the  concept of ‘Drone Swarms’, made up of cooperative, autonomous robots  that react to the battlefield             as one — this concept will fundamentally alter  the rules and nature of warfare in the 21st century.
  • SWARM is an acronym for ‘Smart War-Fighting Array of Reconfigured Modules’. The basic ‘Drone Swarm Technology’ revolves around the ability of a very large number of drones, generally in the mini/micro category to autonomously make decisions based on shared information, and has the potential to revolutionise the dynamics of conflict.
  • In simple terms it is like a hive of bees geared towards a single larger objective but each bee capable of acting on its own in relation       to other  bees to meet that objective. Due to the significant number of drones that  can form part of any swarm, there is considerable degree of autonomy that  the swarm as a whole and individual drones can exercise in finding and  engaging targets.


  • Swarm robotics is an approach to the coordination of multiple autonomous  robots as a system which consists of a  large number of mostly physical robots,  controlled by minimal human   These exhibit collective self  organising (SO) behaviour through  interaction and cohesion between  robots, as well as interaction of robots  with the environment.
  • Once unleashed an armed, fully autonomous drone swarms (AFADS)  with distributed AI will locate, identify,  and attack targets without human
  • The United States is the world leader in swarm technology and has underway a host  of swarming UAV and munition initiatives.
  • It demonstrated the Perdix swarm in 2017. A trio of F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters release a  total of 103 Perdix drones in air.
  • The drones formed up at a preselected point and then headed out to perform four  different missions. Three of the missions  involved hovering over a target while the  fourth mission involved forming a 100-meter-  wide circle in the sky. The demo showed  Perdix’s collective distributed intelligence,  adaptive formation flying, and self-healing

  • The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has also showcased the X-61A Gremlin air launched drones. The idea behind  DARPA’s Gremlins program is to turn cargo aircraft like the C-130 into  motherships capable of launching and retrieving swarms of small
  • The US Navy and Marine Corps’ Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology (LOCUST) program, which fires small UAVs from  a tube-based launcher to conduct varied class of missions,  is another swarm development underway.
  • Further, the USAF’s ‘Skyborg’ initiative aims to design and deploy an artificially intelligent fleet of loyal wingman  unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAV).

  • The Chinese are the closest in matching the high density drone swarm capability of  the United States and in many ways are  replicating the US R&D initiatives with  development of AI empowered  autonomous drone swarms.
  • Recently The China Academy of Electronics and Information Technology (CAEIT) tested  a 48 x tube launched drone swarm of CH-  901 UAVs. CAEIT in the past has  demonstrated a 200 unit drone military  swarm in 2017.
  • Chinese companies have also demonstrated impressive swarms of 1,000  plus drones using quad-copter-type drones  for large public displays, which however  are ground controlled and do not have  distributed intelligence.
  • In India, the Indian Air Force has been pioneering swarm drone research and  development with its Meher Baba  initiative since 2019. This is geared  towards in depth humanitarian  assistance and disaster relief (HADR)
  • the Indian Army showed off a mature offensive capability with a swarm of 75  autonomous drones with distributed  intelligence and edge computing,  destroying a variety of simulated  targets with kamikaze attacks during  India’s Army Day parade

  • The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in India has  unveiled the Air Launched  Flexible Asset (ALFA -S) air  launched swarming drone  system as part of it next  generation Combat Air  Teaming System (CATS). This is  a unique program which  utilises a network of air  launched remote carriers and  swarming units to penetrate  contested airspace.

What did we learn?

  • A new age warfare is upon us.
  • Remember few names of different systems being developed.
  • Keep an eye on Indian developments – In Drone Swarm Technology
  • India shall stay prepared and ahead in this technological race.




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