Drones from the UK Ministry of Defense (MOD) could be ready to hit the skies in six months, according to drone company Blue Bear. The company has also stated that it would take around an extra £5 ($6.6) million for a fleet of 20 drones.
The UK has been developing its swarming drones for the last few years and is expected to aid crewed aircraft in attacks, destroying air defenses, and provide live video feeds to soldiers on the ground. It is expected that the drones will be converted to carry weapons and even be used as kamikaze drones.
The UK Ministry of Defense (MOD) has already invested £4 ($5.3) million in drone company Blue Bear to develop network-connected swarm drones that can carry various payloads.
Managing Director at Blue Bear, Ian Williams-Wynn, told the Telegraph in an interview:
The Russians used drones to great effect in Crimea, and now we’re seeing Azerbaijan buy Turkish drones and fly them in the same way. Islamic State used model aircraft and were devastatingly effective.
The UK expected the drone swarms to be ready for service last year, but the development and testing phases are taking much longer than first thought. The drones are being trialed at the Raf Spadeadam training center in Carlisle, England, which happens to be the only facility in Europe to allow this type of trial to happen.
The swarm drones are expected to be much smaller than current ones used in the military allowing them to go undetected by enemy radar. Blue Bear is developing two drones for the UK military, the Cobra and the Ghost.
The Cobra can carry up to 15 kg ( pounds) and flies at 16,000 feet. It requires two people to fly and control it. The second is the Ghost, a VTOL-style drone with a temperature-controlled payload bay, ideal for medical supplies and anything else that requires a specific temperature. Other than this, not much is known about the two drone models.
While most think of drone swarms and drones that blow themselves up upon impact when it comes to the army, we have actually been using them in the entertainment business for the last few years in the form of drone light shows. These friendly drone swarms have lit up the Super Bowl, Britain’s Got Talent, and have even thanked the front-line workers in the COVID-19 pandemic.
- US Army looks at ways to mass-charge drone swarms
- Russia uses drone swarms for the first time in Kavkaz-2020
- First-ever live drone light show during Super Bowl LIII
- Magical drones make an appearance on Britain’s Got Talent