Mini-Missile Promises to Shrink the Drone War

Discussion in 'Americas' started by JAISWAL, Dec 25, 2011.


    JAISWAL Senior Member Senior Member

    Mar 13, 2010
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    Mini-Missile Promises to Shrink the Drone War |
    Get ready to shrink the drone war. The Army and Marine Corps’ medium-sized spy drones may soon become killers, thanks to a successful flight test by a mini-drone strapped with a 12-pound bomb.Raytheon, the defense giant, has been working since 2009 on what it calls a Small Tactical Munition as the name suggests, it’s a bomb tiny enough to attach onto the military’s fleet of small to medium drones like the Shadow. Weighing 12 pounds and standing 22 inches, the guided munition has the potential to expand the drone war dramatically, giving battalion-sized units that fly small drones the ability to kill people, like the remote pilots who fly the iconic Predators and Reapers do.
    Now Raytheon announces that on Sept. 16, a Cobra drone (the company’s in-house equivalent of a Shadow) flew over the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona carrying the latest, lightest, smallest model of the Small Tactical Munition for the first time. The flight lasted an hour. It didn’t actually fire the munition at a target. (You’ll notice there are no fins on the missile, pictured above, although the design includes fold-up fins.)
    Even though the munition is still a ways away from actually being used by the Marines — whose request to weaponize the Shadow has prompted these tests — it’s the latest milestone for the ongoing trend of miniaturizing killer drones. And there are many paths in development for micro-killers. A California company called Arcturus has built its own small, 17-foot drone that it claims can fire a 10-pound missile called the Saber. More recently, the industry leader in miniature drones, AeroVironment, rolled out an alternative model for small armed drones. Its diminutive hybrid of drone and missile, called the Switchblade, is designed to be carried in a soldier’s backpack until it’s launched into the sky on a kamikaze mission. Yet another design is to launch a deadly mini-drone from inside a larger drone, Russian-doll style.
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    Last edited: Dec 25, 2011
  3. debasree

    debasree Regular Member

    Feb 7, 2011
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    Calcutta, India, India
    hmmm but i think drones will be still relevant
  4. indian_sukhoi

    indian_sukhoi Regular Member

    Apr 6, 2009
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    Hyderabad, India
    A normal battalion cannot rely over a drone like this. The drone definelty would need small runnawy type area to launch it.

    How the hell can they launch that drone into the air in middle of a fight?
    What if the battalion pinned down on a Kargil or Norther Afghan terrain?

    I would rather prefer a mini-drone attached with a grenade for kamikaze role over the enemy.

    Miniature drone flying over enemy heads for suicide attack would scare the enemy. Mini-Drones fitted with infrared and bomb would be very useful for Indian Army in a Kargil War Scenario. The battalion wont need to expose themself in the battlefield, They can just guide the drone into enemy fortifications in the darkness!!

    US is already developing a Kamakazie type drone.
  5. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

    Sep 28, 2011
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    North Carolina, USA
    Battalions should have their commanders flying overhead in a chopper so they don't need drones. :-D
    indian_sukhoi likes this.

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