The cat-and-mouse of drone defense and offense is entering a new phase.
“Drones and most likely drone swarms are something you’re going to see on a future battlefield…I think we’re already seeing some of it,” said Army Gen. John Murray, who leads Army Futures Command. “Counter drone, we’re working the same path everybody else is working in terms of soft skills and hard kills via a variety of different weapons systems. It just becomes very hard when you start talking about swarms of small drones. Not impossible but harder.”
As drones become smarter, cheaper, more nimble, easier for rogue adversaries to acquire and more advanced adversaries to evolve, they pose a unique threat for the U.S. military that grows in importance as the objects themselves diminish in size. This year, trends in autonomy will reshape drone capabilities and concepts, making them more offensively useful and even harder to defend against.