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Swarming drones? - 3/31/2021 9:33:18 AM   


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This question has no doubt been asked before, but I wonder has anyone found any way of replicating the future concept of swarming drones?

'CDS Gen Carter says by 2030 it’s possible that RAF formations will have more unmanned systems - his eg is 8 Typhoons flying with 10 Mosquitoes (unmanned) and 100 Alvina drones'

The Mosquitos are the LANCA (loyal wingman) which we can use the XQ-58 Valkyrie as a representative stand-in with SBDs/JDAMs or a jamming payload.

However - the '100 Alvina drones' is a bit more tricky. The consumer multirotor drone in the DB has a range of (i think) 24km - so if you need to be that close to a triple digit SAM site, you might ask why not use artillery?

Judging by this open source report, Brite Cloud jamming tech was used on a trial though the UAVs pictured seem representative.

Brite Cloud CAN be added as a weapon mount to these small consumer UAVs, but you still have the problem of getting them close enough to the SAM system.

Anything else in the database I'm missing here? MALD-J would seem appropriate, but it is airlaunched so can't get these by itself? Any smaller longer-ranged tactical UAVs with an OECM payload? Air-dropped Perdix drones? Generic fixed-wing consumer drones that Brite Cloud decoys could be fitted with?

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RE: Swarming drones? - 3/31/2021 9:43:40 AM   


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I presume that by they come to operational systems, they'll use air-launched swarming drones. Which means the launching aircraft has to be within their range limit, or maybe even use an unmanned vehicle a bit like a cluster munition dispensing its payload. So far it all seems rather proof-of-concept, which may be why they're trying out cheap commercial drones.

(in reply to LordFlashheart)
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RE: Swarming drones? - 4/1/2021 4:49:30 PM   


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Have been working on a scenario recently using RAF aircraft armed with large numbers of SPEAR3's - in simulation they do display some degree of swarm-like behaviour even if it hasnt been specifically coded: launched in large numbers against numerous targets, going active they all seek out targets rather unpredictably, for better or for worse to be honest but it feels swarm-like as there is *some* degree of target switching and sharing (but sadly, if the targets are in a group, often not all of your chosen targets get picked, and some targets get overkilled). Add to that man-in-the-loop course control and retargeting and you get a pretty intelligent weapon if you use it right. I just wish it could pick an individual target out of a crowd sometimes, which it should be very capable of IRL.

There is also the SPEAR EW which is a OECM enabled active decoy, appearing as a full aircraft contact to the enemy, which can be man-in-the-loop flown with a range of several hundred nm. These can also be carried and emplyed in relatively large numbers.

Together they can be successfully employed against strong air defences. They are also packed with optical and EM sensors and can relay significant recon information, SPEAR EW especially has a good ESM kit.

SPEAR has a small warhead, but 40 of them can still sink a capital ship - and with 16 per aicraft possible, this is very doable, even very strong point defences become somewhat transparent when you can easily launch 96 weapons in a single 6-ship strike.
They arent particularly fast (400kts) and they fly at 300ft, but they are *much* smaller than the average ASM or cruise missile, they are not easy targets for sensors or point defences.

In form, these weapons resemble a hellfire missile with a tiny jet engine and pop out high aspect wings, essentially a very tiny cruise missile. In CMO you use them much like any other datalinked weapon, I think the swarm-like behaviour might be a coincidence due to the particular properties of the missile as simulated, but if these weapons arent equipped with some kind of swarm-like-ai in real life, I would be quite surprised.

< Message edited by p1t1o -- 4/1/2021 5:10:02 PM >

(in reply to guanotwozero)
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