Every day we hear people saying that the third world war will be fought for water or cause of food but one major aspect which most of us ignored is that what shall be the new warfare weapons that are going to be used? This weapon is Drone swarm technology.
But one thing that we need to understand is that the drones we understand commonly are not the same as drone swarms. A drone is also known as an unmanned aerial vehicle which means that it is a kind of aircraft without a human pilot. A drone can fly using a remote control or by autonomous on-board computers. The most recent of all advancements in the field of drones is the technology of ‘Drone Swarms’ which refers to a group of drones which do not need outside support, the drones themselves communicate among each other and take decisions relating to formation of defensive as well as attacking strategies.
There are many factors that need to be understood when drone swarms are being considered. One of the major factors being the size of the swarms. The size of the swarms refers to the number of drones which is to be analyzed with utmost care and it generally varies from mission to mission. For instance, if there is a major attack mission then a swarm can be of thousands of drones whereas if secrecy is to be maintained then there should be less number of drones as it might get suspected thus blowing off the cover. Also the size of swarm is important when the number of casualties in terms of drones is taken into consideration. For example if 10 out of 20 drones get destroyed then the entire mission might fail whereas if 10 out of 1000 drones are destroyed then the mission can still be performed. But there are also consequences of having a large swarm as the drones might collide with each other while working.
The next major factor that needs to be understood is the size and type of drone. Drones are available from being as small as weighing 1 gram to hundreds of kilograms. With increase in the weight, the task that the drone can perform keep on improving. The drones can be made as per the requirements of the mission thus it makes the swarm mission based. Also there are various types of drones that are available performing varied functions. Some drones initially would just be used to click pictures of the terrain which was risky for man to go or it was used by warriors to spot their enemy but today we have drones that even have anti-radiation missile system which can’t be tracked down by enemies thus defeating ground units easily. There are also dummy drones which can prove to be of much use during times of war. These are cheaper to produce and they help by absorbing attacks to protect the more sophisticated and important drones or they can also be used as a distraction to take away the defenders attention thus giving the major swarm a golden opportunity to attack.
The earliest record of an unmanned aerial vehicle was in July 1849 which was for war fighting. These were serving as balloon carriers, and were mainly launched from land. These balloons carried bombs in them. At a time many balloons were launched with the hope that at least one would blast at the right place but there was too much of a risk as these balloons could damage the launching army as well if the wind direction changed as the army had no control over the wind. Some or the other types of unmanned aerial vehicles were used in both the world wars. Not just these, drones were used in almost all wars after being invented with each one being better and more advanced than the previous. Thus the drone technology initially lead to much destruction too during its sprouting time. One of the most effective use of drones has been to use them as decoys and waste the anti-aircraft missiles of the opponents thus assuring the safety of the planes carrying soldiers in them. The aim of shifting to drones as stated by General John C.meyer is that it’s better to let the drone do the high risk flying, though the loss rate is high but it’s better to risk more of them as they save lives.
Still there is a possibility that these can be hacked and can be used to cause terror in their own country themselves. One such incident of hacking a UAV took place in 2009.
At the same time, there also exist drones that are not made for wars. These are called civil and commercial UAVs which can be used for agriculture, aerial photography, data collection. These drones are easily available for purchase in stores and some are also made for children to play with called leisure drones. There is much potential in the near future for these drones as well as these can help much in the proper working of many institutions. These could start by just supervision activities and go as far as delivering couriers or sending supplies to various places. Although these drones might get attacked in the way thus destroying both the goods and the drone so they are not currently being used for this purpose but surely researches are going on to see where all can the drone technology expands.
But again who knows what lies in the future. These are those ideas which seem realistic today with the current resources available. There will surely be much more improvement than this
I believe that drone technology is revolutionary and will change the peace of all wars ahead. Although there must be international regulations towards the extent of their use as they can be used as weapons of mass destruction. It can also be ignored that there is a significant lifesaving that takes place as drones can be used for surveillance by armies of all countries. Almost every country in the world is expanding their horizons towards this technology as a lot has already been achieved but there is so much more to explore in this field. This is the reason why there are large amounts of expenditure by every country in this field.