US Navy demonstrating system to launch autonomous drone swarm.
A system to launch and co-ordinate a swarm of small, cheap drones is being demonstrated by the US Office of Naval Research (ONR). Dubbed LOCUST (Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology), the system is ship-based and can launch several UAVs in rapid succsession which then act together to overwhelm a target.
LOCUST uses a launcher consisting of a series of tubes, each holding a single UAV in a folded configuration. Once launched, the wings unfold, and the single drone can communicate with other UAVs launched from adjacent tubes, ‘enabling autonomous collaborative behaviour in either defensive or offensive missions,’ ONR states.