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US Just Launched 103 Mini Drones in California Test Flight, Future of Warfare?

Jan 16, 2017 09:00 AM EST

The world of military-grade technology is just about to get weirder. The US military has just launched 103 miniature swarming drones from a fighter jet during a California test ride. 

According to BBC, three F/A-18 Super Hornets were in the skies and were used to release the Perdix drones a few months back, with research results appearing just now.

These drones have a wing-span of 12in (30cm) and operate on their own. However, according to a video footage, they do share a "distributed brain."

A military analyst said the devices are able to dodge air defense systems. Meaning they can most likely be used for surveillance purposes. Interested parties can look at the official test footage published online by the Department of Defense.

William Roper, director of the Strategic Capabilities Office, said the Perdix drones are not "pre-programmed" synchronised individuals. Rather, they're a "collective" unit that adapts to each other like swarms found in nature.

Each Perdix drones communicates and collaborates with each other. They have no leader and they adapt to anyone entering or leaving the "team." According to BBC, these were designed by engineering students at MIT and were first modified in 2013 for military testing,

Air defense systems are generally optimised to spot very large and fast-moving aircraft. However, small and cheap drones can be a solution to bypass them. This is what Elizabeth Quintana of the Royal United Services Institute, a military think tank, seems to think. She added that the system would probably be used for surveillance purposes soon.

In May, it can be remembered that the US Navy tested a similar system that could launch drones in the skies for quick deployment.

However, the US is not alone. The Chinese also demonstrated a fleet of larger, fixed-wing drones. Quintana said China has significant sources in electronics and drone manufacturing to do such a testing.

In fact the world's best selling consumer drones are made by DJI, which is a Chinese company. 

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