A swarm of drones. The future of fighting

A swarm of drones. The future of fighting

Unmanned aerial vehicles are firmly established on the field of modern combat, or rather, in the sky above the theater of war. Even the smallest and simplest drones, drones and quadrocopters are actively used for reconnaissance purposes and for adjusting artillery fire. At the same time, the tactics of using drones does not stand still. For future wars, a characteristic element will be the use of a swarm of drones. Research and development in this area is being conducted in many countries of the world, including Russia.


For example, recently, the attention of American journalists was attracted by the presentation of the concept of sharing small-sized kamikaze drones Flock-93 ("Flock-93"). The concept, the development of which is responsible for scientists from the famous Air Force Engineering Academy named after Nikolai Zhukovsky, was presented in Moscow during the international exhibition INTERPOLITEX-2019. Moreover, the debut of "Pack-93" took place last summer at the forum "Army-2019". In the near future, such concepts will be able to significantly change the nature of the military operations of ground forces around the world.

UAV Swarm Tactics


Currently, the armed forces of almost all states are working on the creation and testing of tactics of a swarm of drones or UAVs (UAV Swarm). This technology allows you to effectively use a large number of reconnaissance-strike and reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles at the same time. At the same time, work is also being done on the control of ground drones. As you can easily guess the principle of the swarm was taken from the world around us, scientists have spied it on insects. The tactics under consideration are considered very promising and in the future will open up practically unlimited opportunities for the military on the battlefield, allowing them to conduct successful and effective reconnaissance and allowing them to confidently hit ground targets with minimal material and, more importantly, human losses. The wars of the future are increasingly presented as wars of machines.

The media repeatedly raised questions about the fact that a swarm of drones would be almost impossible to destroy completely, and all training for such devices would only mean replacing the software. This will make the swarm of drones universal; it can be easily adjusted to solve various tasks over the battlefield. Moreover, more and more research in this area is carried out not only with the participation of unmanned aerial vehicles, which have long become a highly effective means of modern warfare, but also ground-based drones.



The leading countries that work in this direction are the USA and China today. Russia is trying to keep up with them, but so far, domestic achievements in this area look more modest. At the same time, the Russian military was already faced with attacks by an impromptu swarm of drones that tried to influence the Russian aviation Hmeimim base, located in Syria. At the same time, real developments that would be close to being adopted and capable of taking part in combined arms combat have not yet been represented by any country in the world. In an interview with TASS, Vladimir Mikheev, who holds the post of CEO of KRET, said that in our country such a swarm of UAVs will be possible to create only in the next five years.

In the USA, specialists from the defense agency DARPA are actively working to create a swarm of drones. Not so long ago, agency experts conducted another test of an active swarm of UAVs, which were held at Fort Benning (Georgia). Active tests using dozens of drones were conducted to test the new UAV motion control system. The test program allows small drones to synchronously move in space, including rebuilding to simulate a large aircraft, for example, a fighter. At the same time, the Americans emphasize that the tests they are conducting so far are aimed at solving reconnaissance missions, primarily during battles in urban areas. Offensive tactics with swarm support from the DARPA agency, dubbed OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics or abbreviated OFFSET, allows you to create up to 250 autonomous systems that collect critical information for army units operating in urban areas with limited visibility, different heights and limited capabilities establishing communication and mobility. According to the plans of American experts, a swarm of drones will help infantrymen in real time receive a lot of information useful in battle, including data on enemy firing points, the location of defense lines, snipers and other data.

Introduced in China, the concept of a swarm of drones solves attacking targets. Specialists from a large Norinco corporation are responsible for the development. The company back in 2018, as part of the major international exhibition China Airshow 2018 in Chinese Zhuhai, presented several tactical scenarios for the combat use of a swarm of drones. Shown Chinese UAVs are multicopter of different sizes. The swarm is formed from the MR-40 and MR-150 models equipped with 4 and 6 propellers, respectively. Each of the presented drones was equipped with a spherical small-sized gyrostabilized optoelectronic platform, search and target radar and other equipment that can be effectively used for reconnaissance. At the same time, it is allowed to use a wide range of aviation weapons, including guided missiles, air bombs, machine guns, parachute submunitions and even automatic grenade launchers, which Norinco also manufactures. In an interview with TASS agency reporters, company representatives said that the concept being created makes it easy to adapt a swarm of drones to solve various combat missions, including a group air strike against the enemy.



Swarm-93 drone swarm


The control system developed in our country for controlling small unmanned aerial vehicles intended for delivering a massive strike received the official designation “Flock-93”. The system was demonstrated at the 2019 exhibitions of the year, the last time at the INTERPOLITEX-2019 exhibition, which was held at the end of October in Moscow. The basis of the Russian system is a self-organizing swarm of unmanned aerial vehicles COM-93, each of which is able to take on board up to 2,5 kg of various combat load. The possibility of creating a swarm of UAVs from small and cheap drones designed to destroy various ground targets, for example, automobile convoys on the march, really worries foreign journalists who have paid enough attention to this project. Articles about the Flock-93 system have appeared in various American publications, including c4isrnet.com and Popular Mechanics.

Based on materials already published in the Russian media, as well as data from the exhibitions held, an approximate idea of ​​the tactics and functioning of the Russian swarm of unmanned aerial vehicles can be made. In the Russian system "Flock-93" the swarm is controlled by the leader UAV. The remaining participants in the swarm of drones maintain a permanent visual contract with the leader, thanks to using the capabilities of their IR cameras. In the event that the leaderless drone fails for various reasons, including under the influence of enemy fire reaction, another drone will automatically take its place, which begins to control the swarm. At the same time, the number of UAVs integrated into the system can be increased unlimitedly. For example, creating a swarm from a set of small groups where the leaderless drone is the leader for the 2-3 slave devices, which, in turn, can be leaders for their fragments of a drone swarm.

The presented drones can easily perform vertical take-off and landing, which allows them to be launched even from spaces of limited size. For example, the whole swarm can be raised into the sky from a small glade, sheltered by a forest, or from the roof of a building in a dense urban area. A swarm of hundreds of small kamikaze drones filled with explosives raised into the sky will be difficult to stop, and drones that break through to targets can inflict tangible losses on the enemy. Such vehicles are especially dangerous against unarmored vehicles.



The advantages of the Flock-93 system are the relatively low cost of the strike, which it is capable of delivering such a swarm to the enemy. The main purpose of the swarm of drones, which is created as part of the work on the control system "Flock-93", is to strike at group and single ground as well as air targets under conditions of counteraction of air defense systems and enemy electronic warfare systems. To effectively and successfully counter a flock of drones, which are small, low-flying targets at low speed, the enemy must have very effective means of combat, which in real combat is rare.

American experts note that Russia has not yet demonstrated its swarm of UAVs in action. But the very emergence of a system that can effectively manage dozens of small drones is an interesting project that fits into global trends. Prior to the Flock-93 system demonstration, the issues of working in Russia with such a large number of drones were not publicly covered. At the same time, American journalists believe that Russia so far lags behind the leading Western countries in the field of such developments, but the lag will be gradually reduced.
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  1. Thrifty 12 November 2019 05: 36 New
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    Without its microelectronic base, it’s just throwing money away.
    1. kuz363 12 November 2019 18: 24 New
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      Microelectronics will be bought from China and others. Quality is another matter.
  2. Same lech 12 November 2019 05: 45 New
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    The ideas for using such devices for attack come from mother nature ... from there you can also take the ideas of confrontation.
    Pesticides are used against the swarm of locusts ... why not use something similar here ... for example, detonate a powerful electromagnetic bomb in the center of the swarm ... or use the same drones ground to combat a swarm of drones ... tracked down, got close and undermined with overhead warhead of powerful explosives.
    1. The leader of the Redskins 12 November 2019 07: 20 New
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      I agree with you. Just to the confrontation, the armor-shell will also add drone-anti-drone protection.
      1. Ural-4320 12 November 2019 12: 42 New
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        A conventional network is a very inexpensive and effective countermeasure. And in the United States, with the help of a network, drones were already caught, and the detention of cars with a network on wheels was run even earlier.
    2. riwas 12 November 2019 09: 04 New
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      Or ammunition of a volume explosion. Only away from their own, on the approach of the flock.
      1. Proctologist 12 November 2019 12: 56 New
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        This is if fools control the swarm. The article mentions a swarm imitation of one large aircraft. So this is seen - the deception of the air defense is on the way, then - scattered and to small heights, just for the purpose to make the destruction of the swarm with one blow impossible or painful (hurt your own).

        A swarm of drones is primarily software, secure communication systems and a relatively minor change in civilian, commercial drones for military tasks. The drone industry is developing rapidly, they are being improved and the leader (in civilian applications) is China, and not the USA - DJI. I suppose that it will be a very dangerous weapon. Even if the barmalei, having collected airplanes from ... and sticks, were able to launch a successful strike at Khmeimim.
    3. kuz363 12 November 2019 18: 27 New
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      Maybe something in the form of shrapnel? It used to be widely used. And given the ease of construction of the drones, smaller fragments can be used with an increase in their number in the charge.
  3. tlauicol 12 November 2019 05: 48 New
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    Isn’t it nice to see such a sight on your airfield on Day X? am
    1. Same lech 12 November 2019 06: 03 New
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      Yes, beauty kills ... heh heh literally.
    2. thinker 12 November 2019 08: 37 New
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      For reference, there are 1218 drones. Now the world record in China - 1374 drone. Russia has a European record - 500 drones on a show in honor of the 80th anniversary of VDNH.
    3. Good_Anonymous 13 November 2019 00: 27 New
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      Quote: Tlauicol
      Isn’t it nice to see such a sight on your airfield on Day X?


      And why are these drones dangerous? Can they carry something heavier than a flashlight?
  4. Den717 12 November 2019 06: 54 New
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    American experts note that Russia has not yet demonstrated its swarm of UAVs in action.

    Probably their specialists did not watch the closing ceremony of the ARMY-2019 in August this year.
    Without its microelectronic base, it’s just throwing money away.

    And what do the Husids have their own micro-selector base? Nevertheless, the Saudis have notably lowered their costs for Amer’s air defense systems of various calibers. More concerned about their own abilities to withstand this novelty of "folk art", because, judging by the reviews, some of these copters just do not see the radar.
  5. rocket757 12 November 2019 07: 33 New
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    Every action will have a reaction! Similar or otherwise, not the point, it will be the main thing.
    Everything is old as the world, only technology, tactics are changing.
  6. Clueless 12 November 2019 09: 10 New
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    You have to be a complete moron to make a swarm of drones based on quadrocopters - this garbage is very unstable, it eats to hell of energy, low speed, load, flight range.
    The swarms will be made on the basis of small unmanned aircraft, more speed, several times cheaper, longer flight range and payload.
    1. voyaka uh 12 November 2019 12: 27 New
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      Stability is very high. Stability freezes.
      And the maneuverability is incredible.
      You probably have not seen good quadrocopters.
      Otherwise, you are right.
      Drones deliver quadrocopters on themselves (with folded
      screws). And then they go into reconnaissance and sabotage.
      This has already been used in combat.
      1. ser56 12 November 2019 16: 54 New
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        Quote: voyaka uh
        Drones deliver quadrocopters on themselves (with folded
        screws

        or missiles, for example, MLRS - just a whole flock ...
    2. bk316 13 November 2019 17: 08 New
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      The swarms will be made on the basis of small unmanned aircraft,

      Can a swarm of planes hide in the forest between the trees?
      A fly just being dropped from somewhere?
      Well, and about the cheapness WHAT FOR?
      For the flight, the quadcopter needs 4 motors, a battery, a frame and a controller, and how many motors, rods, articulated joints are needed for an airplane?
  7. riwas 12 November 2019 09: 12 New
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    While this is only the idea of ​​the flock, but in the future there will be specialized UAVs as part of the flock, as in the wing of an aircraft carrier: like AWACS aircraft, reconnaissance, strike, radio interference, etc. The flock will be launched not only from the air, but also from the ground.
  8. Operator 12 November 2019 09: 46 New
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    Initially, the UAV swarm concept provided for the formation of a swarm of miniature reconnaissance four-screw helicopters the size of each palm in order to reduce the cost of the technical solution, reduce visibility and minimize the risk of downshot.

    Moreover, the swarm had to fly up to the target from different azimuths and operate mainly in urban areas to eliminate the wind drift of mini-UAVs.

    The American photo shows something monstrously shock laughing
  9. Pavel57 12 November 2019 10: 38 New
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    Fight buckshot.
    1. ser56 12 November 2019 16: 55 New
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      Quote: Pavel57
      Fight buckshot.

      antidrons ... hi
  10. Maxim364364 12 November 2019 14: 35 New
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    The film was recently watched by Angel Fall (the continuation of the Fall of Olympus, London), in it at the very beginning a very spectacular scene of the launch and subsequent attack of a swarm of drones on the US president and his guard. Of course, the film was embellished, there is directly artificial intelligence in every drone, but everything goes to this.
    1. tima_ga 23 November 2019 21: 09 New
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      Yeah, Hollywood already picked up the idea, but there the secret service is very primitively shown: a van drove up at a distance of two miles from the location of the protected (first!) Person and released a swarm of drones ... Yes, there they closed the 20-mile zone every 100m I’d even put out the broadcast ... But cinema is cinema.
  11. Leomobil 12 November 2019 20: 41 New
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    How much money do you make? ) Oops .. on toys ... wink It’s just envious how you can win back your child’s Wishlist for the money of the state ... MolodsTsy - one word. And this herd of quadrics (I apologize for the modest question) will be managed by who? AI however NOT! Well, yes, the tadpoles are tearing underneath, just about, just give me another mulyuard, we didn’t play enough. Europe Already THREE billions (euros) swelled, and where? Have you completed the "East"? And these "Combat drones" shot down in Roy-herd-herd-Cant .... a very interesting topic, just super! wink
  12. Serzh_R 15 November 2019 19: 52 New
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    Weapon Yodu Udont against UAV.
  13. Jarserge 30 December 2019 12: 48 New
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    Every action gives rise to opposition ...............
  14. Domestic cat 8 February 2020 23: 50 New
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    Perhaps the killers are no longer needed ...