UK reveals progress in ‘swarming drone' development efforts

by Gareth Jennings

The UK government has reported good progress on its three key efforts to develop future ‘swarming drone’ capabilities for the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Network-enabled, or ‘swarming’, unmanned aircraft is a key technology that the UK is developing both as a standalone capability and as part of the wider Tempest future combat air system. (Crown Copyright)

Network-enabled, or ‘swarming’, unmanned aircraft is a key technology that the UK is developing both as a standalone capability and as part of the wider Tempest future combat air system. (Crown Copyright)

Answering questions in the House of Commons, Baroness Goldie, Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence (MoD), said that work is progressing well on the Project ‘Mosquito’ technology demonstration programme, the 'Many Drones Make Light Work' programme, and other efforts to develop network-enabled or ‘swarm' drones.

“Project Mosquito is a technology demonstration being conducted in two phases. Phase 1 is complete, and the Ministry of Defence is currently evaluating the proposals for Phase 2. As Project Mosquito is a technology demonstrator, it is not anticipated that the project will result in an operational capability.

“The Many Drones Make Light Work project explores the technical feasibility and military use of a swarm of up to 20 small unmanned aircraft vehicles, operating under the control of one individual. The project is in its final phase, Phase 3, delivering a structured flight evaluation programme of this new capability with the successful first trials held in March.

“The Royal Air Force's [RAF’s] swarming drones project continues to be developed by the Rapid Capabilities Office [RCO], with progress during recent trials exceeding expectations in several areas. Following the successful first trials, 216 Squadron was reformed at RAF Waddington on 1 April. [This unit] will take on the operating role for the RAF's fleet of network enabled drones,” the baroness said on 19 June.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/uk-reveals-progress-in-swarming-drone-development-efforts

The UK government has reported good progress on its three key efforts to develop future ‘swarming dr...

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