Drone swarming technique may change combat strategies: expert

Updated 2017-02-14 08:49:39 Global Times

After a record-breaking formation of 1,000 drones performed at the Guangzhou air show on the Chinese Lantern Festival on Saturday night, military experts predicted that the swarming technique applied in drones might change future combat strategies.

During the 15-minute lighting show, 1,000 Ehang GHOSTDRONE 2.0, controlled by one engineer and one computer, showcased six different formations, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The drone formation set a new Guinness World Record for the most drones participating in one aerobatic show.

A Chinese drone expert told the Global Times on Sunday on condition of anonymity that the drone formation requires advanced visual and communications equipment, besides the application of the swarming technique.

Wang Yanan, chief editor of the Aerospace Knowledge magazine, told the Global Times that the large-scale drone formation is a new trend, and for military use there are higher standards for drones.

Wang said the swarming technique has great potential in the military field. "If the technique becomes mature enough, it will change the way wars are fought," said Wang.

The anonymous source said "the swarming technique is likely to introduce changes in the structure of drones by installing mission payload modules on multiple mini drones." This distributed system is hard to be destroyed, he said.

The drone swarming technique might be integrated into all weapon systems - satellite, combat aircraft or ground equipment, said Wang.

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