The Department of the Navy’s Office of Naval Research this week released this video showing a 30 aircraft flight of UAVs directed in tandem by the Navy and researchers from the Georgia Tech Research Institute of the Georgia Institute
The ONR’s LOw-Cost Unmanned aerial vehicle Swarming Technology (LOCUST) program envisions a tube based launcher that could deploy with Marines ashore or from the decks of Navy ships and operate in masses that could conceivably reach hundreds, overwhelming an enemy. This video shows a swarm test launching where they rip off 9 drones in 9 seconds.
“This level of autonomous swarming flight has never been done before,” said ONR program manager Lee Mastroianni in a previous media release by the Navy. “UAVs that are expendable and reconfigurable will free manned aircraft and traditional weapon systems to do more, and essentially multiply combat power at decreased risk to the warfighter.”
The USN demonstrated a coordinated flight of 50 drones in September 2015 out of Monterrey, CA so I am not sure how this one tops it, but hey it’s all good. The rocket launcher video is pretty amazing and I suspect works about the same way as the sub-launched Blackwing we shared recently.