When I wrote the first book in my trilogy, In The Valley, I imagined a future where combat leaders had instant access to tiny drones that provide communications, recon info, and would be controlled via a wireless internet connection to the user.
The future is coming faster than I expected. ISIS is using mini-drones in combat now, they are dropping mortar rounds via drones on friendlies in Syria. They are also using them for recon. The US Army is experimenting (a lot) with small drones, there is a lot of thought and money being directed toward this technology.
So it peaked my interest when I came across an article today where a company is trying to market such drones to the military right now. “Will tiny drones become a must have for soldiers?” LOL, hell yes, was the answer that popped into my head.
Mind you, the “Snipe” is bulkier and clumsier than the drones I imagined for future combatants. However, it is still an application where the infantry soldier can deploy a drone to look around corners, behind buildings, over terrain features, etc. It is only a matter of time before such little drones become weaponized. In the case of ISIS, the bad guys have already done it.
This is a first-generation view of the future. I don’t know whether to be excited by this, or to be leery.
The old methods of reconnaissance will (possibly) soon be obsolete. No more “recon by fire,” no more stumbling into an ambush. The Snipe has a thermal camera, have fun hiding from that.
And sure as the devil, both sides in future conflicts will have access to this technology. I’m not a big fan of unproven technologies when it comes to combat operations. When the bullets start flying, Murphy’s Law prevails each and every time. However, this technology is so promising, so game changing, that I am convinced it will be widely used far into the future.
Humans are always looking for anything that will give them an edge in both love and war, and this technology will deliver. Clausewitz‘s “fog of war” will be rendered less dense by these little machines.
It’s a matter of time and refinement.
5 thoughts on “Micro drones in combat”
I assume an equal amount of money is now being spent on a drone defence system. Not sure how that would work but it sure would give people an advantage.
Nice that you brought that up. I have a friend who told me that golden eagles, of all things, are being trained specifically to eliminate drones. That would be fine, but trading one highly trained eagle for one lousy drone carrying a mortar round would become unsustainable in a real hurry.
I read somewhere that there is work being done on a (semi) autonomous counter-drone drone system. How far along this is I don’t know. The one I read of was designed for base, building or outpost defence, with fixed base stations (about the size of a large birdhouse) the drones return to for charging, etc. The drones could also be used for intruder detection and run remotely for other security work, but autonomous drone defence was a large part of it.
Looks like drone on drone warfare to me.
Maybe it’ll get to the point where drones can do all the fighting, and we can sit back and eat popcorn. But seriously, I definitely see a whole series of countermeasures popping up in this arena. We may be watching the birth of a new era in warfare.