The Army is experimenting with using swarms of small, inexpensive drones in battlefield missions—as much as anything because of the potential threat they could pose to U.S. forces.
Members of the Targets Management Office with Program Executive Office for Simulation Training and Instrumentation are using groups of quadcopters and octocopters to see what they’re capable of. The flights, part of an Army Test and Evaluation Command program to assess possible uses for and countermeasures against synchronized drones, are taking place at the ongoing Network Integration Evaluation exercises at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., and Fort Bliss, Texas.
"ATEC is our customer, they tasked us to come out and look at swarming, the variations and the payloads we can apply to this," James Story, an engineer with the Targets Management Office, said in a release. "We saw this as a threat that wasn't being addressed and ATEC agreed."