Author of The Faithful Prepper and Zombie Choices
While drones are most certainly nothing new, how they will fight future wars is most certainly novel. Chief of these means is through the addition of autonomous drone ‘swarms’ to many militaries worldwide.
Attack Drone Swarms Growing Globally
Nations across the globe are ensuring that they don’t fall behind the curve in this new weaponized technology. France has Icarus, Spain has RAPAZ, Russia has Lightning, the UK has Blue Bear, and the UAE has N-Raven.
Armenia recently unveiled a swarming attack drone. And we know that China has a wide range of drone swarm projects ongoing. Of recent note, China successfully tested a swarm of 1000 drones.
The US is most certainly not behind the curve with drones. Currently, the Marines are looking to incorporate a kamikaze drone swarm into their fighting capabilities. In contrast, the Army, the Air Force, the Navy, and DARPA are also crafting their own swarm projects.
A kamikaze drone is likely to include some form of explosive attached to it – not necessarily a novel idea – as it was not that long ago that two drones armed with 2.2 pounds of plastic explosives were used in an attempted assassination of Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro.
[source: the introduction of Rand Paul’s The Case Against Socialism]
In 2018, the US Army released a study suggesting that drone swarms could be 50% more lethal while suffering 50% fewer losses as well. It seems as if this will be a heavy part of the warfare of the future.
Current Capabilities of Drone Swarms
Another reason drone swarms are applauded as a weapon of the future is the ability of drones to be fully customized. Need a swarm to have the capability to break open windows and enter a building? Easily done. Need a swarm to contain thermal-equipped ‘surveillance units’ who watch from overhead while attack drones move in? Done.
As Zak Kallenborn – analyst for the Research Affiliate at the Unconventional Weapons and Technology Division at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (imagine the size of his name badge) – states: the ability to insert drones of differing capabilities within a swarm and the choice of omnidirectional attack are very real possibilities as well.
“I expect a global conversation to emerge on the limits of drone swarm technology,” says Kallenborn. “States may begin to classify drone swarms as weapons of mass destruction, due to the combination of mass harm and lack of controllability.”
Let’s say that you want most of your drones to be observers – equipped with the latest technology in thermal imaging, facial recognition, and optics. They could easily be included within a swarm to provide intel to attack drones, demolition drones, and the like.
The ability to hit from the enemy’s flank becomes exponentially easier as well. A large enough swarm could easily encompass an enemy in a ‘bubble’ of sorts.
Where Could This Potentially Lead?
COVID led to thermal imaging and facial recognition equipped drones used at many locations throughout the United States. It’s not too difficult to see this incorporated into future weaponized drones as well. In many cases, it’s already been done. Way back in 2011, the US Army was already experimenting with facial recognition equipped drones that could not only identify you but could allegedly predict your intentions – whether you were a friend or an enemy – as well.
Could the future become a time of facial recognition-equipped swarm drones being used against political opponents? What if you are somebody who imbibes in content that is not politically sanitized, say, you enjoy Alex Jones, Tucker Carlson, and Project Veritas?
What if prior surveillance attempts have identified you as a member of a particular religion – one that is currently widely under attack from governments, terrorists, invaders, etc.
Theorists have philosophized about what this could look like, leading to the following (fictional) short documentary, Slaughterbots.
How Do We Defend Against Such?
Chicken wire was touted in the past as a potential form of protection against swarms of micro-drones. But what other options do we have? Are shotguns full of birdshot a wise decision? Another drone swarm? EMP weaponry? Radio interference via a software-defined radio? Do you keep Serena Williams close by your side?
That’s the question that’s being floated around, and at the moment, nobody knows. Drone swarms seem to be a rather formidable enemy, and only time will reveal their weaknesses.
Aden Tate has a master’s in public health and is a regular contributor to PewPewTactical.com, SurvivalBlog.com, SHTFBlog.com, ApartmentPrepper.com, HomesteadAndPrepper.com, and PrepperPress.com. Along with being a freelance writer he also works part-time as a locksmith. Aden has an LLC for his micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has two published books, The Faithful Prepper and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American at Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.
There are many different types of drones, but they all have one weakness: they rely on a radio signal to operate them. Stop the signal and you stop the drone. Hack the signal and you control the drone.
As far as an EMP, many current drones are used as stand off weapon or surveillance platforms.
The chances of an average person creating such a powerful EMP burst as to disrupt them, is not likely.
The same goes for shooting them down.
It seems the Iraqis have had good luck with blocking the radio frequencies that control drones, causing them to crash. So that seems like it offers the best option to pursue.
Without knowing the exact frequency they are using, one would probably have to resort to a spark gap generator and hope you blocked the right frequency with enough interference to do the job.
Once SHTF, they will not be a problem, nor will any technology for a long time. If society got to the point of using them against it’s own civilians, in a massive way, SHTF is following close behind.
Which means you would only need to avoid them for a short time.
There’s no telling what sort of evil that “leviathan” is brainstorming to go after liberty loving, self reliant people that just want to be left alone.
μολὼν λαβέ !!!
It’s definitely an issue for every military, prison, security detail and anyone into preparedness.
There are many anti-drone “guns” currently on the market. Unfortunately all of them are only available to LE or military. Its likely that corporations could get them as well. But for the rest of us, we’ll probably have to stick to shotguns and net guns, at least until Wish starts making knock offs..
Even the anti-drone guns probably wouldn’t be much help against a swarm of hundreds or thousands.
Not to give anyone any ideas, but wouldn’t a smart attacker have multiple frequencies widely spread to make electronic countermeasures virtually worthless?
Military radios have used frequency hopping technology for decades. Forget controlling them. Jamming them using discreet frequencies will be impossible for the average person. The spark gap idea may have some merit.
While in Afghanistan, I had the opportunity to see a MQ-8 Fire Scout in operation.
It was operating on a directional Ku band antenna.
Then factor in the encryption.
They also had it programed to return to base even if comms were lost or GPS signal was interrupted.
A friend of ours has a drone, that it too loses comms, it will return to its launch point.
I can tell you from personal experience they all fall short and are useless in a swarm
Daisy, I’m disappointed that your site is focusing more and more about news of various scary things that are going on in the world and not having enough posts about what I think is really important for preppers, which is practical preparations that we can do for various scenarios. What are we going to be doing, watching the news while stuff goes wrong around us? That isn’t a survivor’s attitude, is it?
Golly, Doly. If you’re not getting your moneys worth, you should stop paying Daisy for the outstanding content.
You have sent in your contribution with these suggestions. Right? https://www.theorganicprepper.com/support-the-op/
Daisy, you need to put up your Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin public address links, so people like Doly can contribute anonymously.
BTW. Not my real name or address below. Or real IP. Trying to stay gray-ish.
Thanks, Jack. I’m working on getting that set up. ???? It’s a bit out of my realm so I’m doing a little research first.
Daisy. These types of articles are thought provoking and definitely worth the read. Mixing them up with solutions to overcome the challenge would be beneficial. What’s does it mean to me as an individual and a MAG? Problems without solutions aren’t that helpful. Lastly, I really appreciate all that you and those who provide content do to educate those of us with lesser knowledge on how to prepare.
Hi, American Lone Wolf! I generally have some ideas about how to deal with things, but with this, I simply don’t know, and I’d rather say I don’t know than give bad advice. I purposely added a question about it at the end in the hopes that one or more of our awesome readers would have some suggestions. We’ve had a pretty interesting discussion, I think, with several possibilities. Give me a tornado, a riot, or an earthquake and I’m your girl. But attack drones? Way out of my league.
Hi, Doly. I’m certainly sorry that you are disappointed but all feedback is appreciated. We have a mix of content and hope to be increasing the number of original posts each day. Keep in mind that most of these writers are paid for their work and we’ve just taken a massive hit in revenue because an organization is trying to “cancel” us.
It behooves us all to be aware of things that are going on in the world. This website has been a mix of news and actionable preparedness since the very beginning – what is happening, what might happen, and how to prep for it. So far that has been a winning combination and I believe I’ll continue with it.
Wishing you the very best!
I love your combination, and I am thankful to know that you will continue to do what you do. It’s brilliant.
Drones are interesting things.
Some controlled with eyes on, real time radio, and some controlled from far away, much like playing electronic games on a screen.
Defending against such an enemy is going to be hard because we will see the actual flying thing and have no idea where the controlling people are actually sitting.
Will a radio frequency do it? A shotgun? A metal cage like chicken wire? Will we master following the signal back to its origin? I hope a way to defend and protect one’s self will it be found. I honestly don’t know how but it’s interesting….
Radio-controlled drones can be disabled. A simple spark-gap transmitter can generate enough interference to disrupt them (that’s why it’s illegal to operate a spark-gap in the US). The real problem begins if limited AI is integrated into emp-shielded drones and they operate autonomously. Just a thought: A possible defense might be found in freely hanging strands of monofilament fishing line.
Two general principles are 1. if it can be built, it will be, and 2. if it can be used to kill humans, someone will use it.
I enjoy these types of posts. Being prepared requires a mindset that is willing to explore all possible problems. The overall mix of topics here is right in line with that.
So, it was back to suits of armor and nets!
NO defense against flame-throwing ones, launched or dropped grenades, or missiles and bombs.
Asimov lied to make you trust robots.
Now you know that robots were always intended for war, to kill.
THIS is scary and I have been worried about this for a long time. There is virtually no defense against these techno swarms.
They can be completely armed with gas, chemo-bio warfare, bombs or anything else destructive you can think of and be coordinated to hunt and KILL you.
The closest I can think of is a shotgun for them but they’ll be wise enough to stay a hundred yards or more away from you to unleash their fury on you.