Why the Army Is Doubling Down on Drones to Win Future Wars

The Army’s use of manned-unmanned teaming, wherein human operators control air and ground robotic vehicles to conduct reconnaissance, carry supplies or even launch attacks has long been underway. This developmental trajectory is demonstrated by the Army’s most recent successes with unmanned-unmanned teaming. 

Progress with drone to drone connectivity, from ground to ground and ground to air is fast gaining momentum following successful recent experiments where the Army passed key targeting data from larger drones to smaller mini-drones in the air. This happened in September at Yuma Proving Grounds, Ariz., during the Army’s Project Convergence experiment, wherein the ability to massively shorten sensor-to-shooter time and network time-sensitive combat information was demonstrated between drones. 

During the experiment, an Army Gray Eagle drone networked with a forward operating mini-drone called Air Launched Effects. This, as Army leaders described, extended the range, scope and target envelope for attack missions well beyond “line of sight”

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