(Washington, DC) They can form swarms of hundreds of mini, precision-guided explosives, overwhelm radar, or simply blanket an area with targeting sensors. They can paint or light up air, ground or sea targets for enemy fighters, missiles, or armored vehicles, massively increasing warzone vulnerability. They can instantly emerge from behind mountains to fire missiles at Army convoys, infantry on the move, or even mechanized armored columns.
They can increasingly operate with less and less human intervention and be programmed to enter enemy airspace, crossing into well-defended areas with decreased risk. Finally, perhaps of greatest significance, many of them can now fire weapons with little human intervention. They are commercial and military attack drones now proliferating at alarming rates around the world.
Not only are attack drones easily purchasable on the commercial market, but they are rapidly becoming more and more advanced given the lightning speed at which technology is now advancing. Video can be gathered with much higher fidelity at longer ranges, navigational systems can more accurately merge with sensors and targeting technologies, and larger numbers of drones can increasingly operate in tandem – in a more coordinated fashion. Battery technology, to cite another example, is progressing so quickly that drones are increasing dwell time over targets, complicating any effort to defend against them.