Silent lightning: US develops EW drone swarms

Silent lightning: US develops EW drone swarms

The US has started a program to create digital warfare drone swarms, the most recent of its many initiatives to professional AI and drone technology that, while having major operational and strategic ramifications and risks, have the potential to win war. In addition, & nbsp,

The US Navy is asking business and government organizations to take part in a Silent Swarm 2024 exercise, which aims to show early-stage autonomous systems’ ability to fight on the electromagnetic field, according to Breaking Defense this quarter. & nbsp,

The Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane will host the event, which will feature” swarming, small, attritable” unmanned systems capable of distributed electromagnetic attack, deception, and digital payload delivery. The technology must be within readiness levels( TRL ) two to five, with higher numbers indicating more advanced systems.

Robots in a distributed attack promote real-time data with one another to respond quickly and precisely to climate changes. In such an assault, each drone may produce real-time decisions, enhancing the swarm’s algorithms to enhance target recognition and elimination. & nbsp,

According to the cause, the US Navy’s research and development business, which is intended to create and test new technologies, has a network of war centers spread out across the country.

It further states that the request calls for the dispersion of electromagnetic energy, including high-power microwaves, in order to undermine, disgrace, destroy, and mislead an adversary’s capabilities.

In order to give pleasant forces the freedom to move around, fraud involves causing electromagnetic spectrum chaos and confusion, focusing on enemy situational awareness, command and control, and decision-making processes.

According to Breaking Defense, the US Navy just completed its previous occasion, which involved 30 technology initiatives and more than 300 personnel from various military services. It claims that the US secretary for defense’s company also funds the exercise for engineering and research.

The US Navy also opened up participation to civilian organizations like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration( NOAH ), as well as foreign allies and partners like Australia and the UK, according to the source.

How they function

Digital war drones can participate in a larger swarm of reconnaissance aircraft and munitions that are loitering.

Second, drones for reconnaissance may identify potential targets. Therefore, electric interference from electronic warfare drones would be used to weaken army air defenses, allowing loitering munitions to go in for the shoot. They could also do the opposite, serving as transmission decoys to entice enemy air defenses into disclosing their locations so that loitering munitions you attack. & nbsp,

SPEAR – EW electronic warfare weapon from the MBDA. Wikipedia image

The US is pursuing a number of drone-swarm initiatives to increase the device and weapon ranges of manned aircraft, fly in strongly guarded airport, serve as decoy screens, and increase force.

General Atomics has obtained a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency( DARPA ) for Phase 3 of the LongShot program, according to an Asia Times report from this month. The contract has a value of up to$ 94 million USD.

The goal of the LongShot plan is to create an autonomous aircraft program that can be dropped from a fighter or bomber. The aircraft is anticipated to improve the objective effectiveness and engagement range of current fouth-generation jet fighters and air-to-air missiles. In order to address the need for mass-produced and disposable plane in a possible great-power issue, the LongShot drone may develop into an air-to-air dedicated wingman.

The Replicator Program, which aims to quickly expand the creation of intelligent systems that can be easily replaced in the air, land, and ocean domains, was also announced by Asia Times this month. It aims to oppose China’s growing military might, which may pose a hazard in the event that Taiwan is invaded.

The Defense Innovation Unit( PIU ) at the Pentagon will oversee the initiative and collaborate with defense and non-traditional tech firms to hasten development.

improved power

A program that can operate independently and decentralizedly, even in environments with limited bandwidth, has been made possible by the most recent advancements in artificial intelligence, mesh networks, and sophisticated networking capabilities.

The Replicator plan aims to move toward a new paradigm in which intelligent and human-operated systems collaborate while giving ethics and military conflict laws top priority.

In addition, Asia Times reported in February that the US DOD had started the” Autonomous Multi-Domain Adaptive Swarms – of-Shosts”( AMASS ) project, which aims to create a fleet of self-sufficient drone hordes that can be sent from the sea, the air, and the land to overwhelm enemy air defenses.

Drone flocks designed by an artist to be used in the AMASS system. Photo: Futuro Prossimo

The goal of this project is to create tens of thousands of autonomous drones that can destroy enemy defenses, including missile launchers, artillery, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance( ISR ) platforms.

The AMASS software investigates using low-cost swarms outfitted with a variety of sensors and dynamic and non-kinetic cells to perform military procedures in highly contested environments. & nbsp,

These numerous drone projects highlight the potential crucial role that drone swarms can play in high-power battles, possibly turning into a weapon that can win wars.

In line with this, Asia Times reported in May 2022 that RAND think tanks and the Air Force Warfighting Integration Capability ( AFWIC ) office had been used in simulations by the US Air force. In order to defend Taiwan from a potential Chinese invasion, automatic aircraft swarms were used in the simulations.

The simulations showed in 2020 that the US’s success depended heavily on aircraft swarms using a distributed” grid” laser data-sharing network. The anti-access / area denial( A2 / AD ) capabilities that China may use to thwart or stop a US intervention could be overcome by this strategy.

Against Chinese warships, plane, and missile batteries, using drone swarms with covert guarded platforms like the F-35 and F-22 could be very effective. These drones’ marketing enhances manned platforms’ contextual awareness. By presenting many targets at once, the swarm may also destroy enemy radar scopes.

Automatic drone swarms may analyze targets from a variety of angles, cross-check different targeting information streams, and suggest the most effective strategy for focusing on one target thanks to machine learning and AI applications.


But, soldiers have a variety of strategies for fending off aircraft swarms. Ryan Bridley and Scott Pastor note that for you get defeated by directed energy arms, jam, underwater construction, and the use of counter-drone crowds in an article published in August 2022 for Small Wars Journal.

While directed-energy weapons like microwaves and lasers can quickly eradicate drone swarms, Bridley and Pastor note that they may be financially expensive to developing nations, and drone manufacturers may use defensive reflective coatings to do the same. & nbsp,

They point out that while indication jamming is a tried-and-true method of fending off drone swarms, it does only work against low-quality, simple drones. Drones could also use home-on-jam capacity to strike the jam source or orbital instruction to stay on course. & nbsp,

Building under, according to Bridley and Pastor, can protect possible targets from drone swarms, but doing so is time-consuming, cheap, and laborious.

They also point out that counter-drone swarms have the potential to pull and destroy some of the attacking drones in order to obstruct their mission and deflect their attack. They do, however, point out that pleasant fire could be used against defending drones and that in order for counter-drone swarms to be successful, they must cooperate with additional protective measures. & nbsp,