The US Marine Corps wants grunts packing deadly swarming drones

“Special operations forces have used small loitering munition drones in combat for some time, said Bryan Clark, a retired submarine officer and senior fellow at The Hudson Institute, pointing to the AeroVironment Switchblade system. But the swarming effect is something that would take the system a step further, he added. “The swarming idea would be, ‘How do I overwhelm the enemy’s defenses and cut off lines of escape,’” Clark explained. “If I’m a Marine unit, I’m generally going after a group of people, not just one or two guys the way SOF might be. But the idea here is to cause an area effect. You want to overwhelm defenses or cause explosions over a wider area to try and herd your adversary or cut off lines of retreat. Photo taken at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Sept. 2 , courtesy of Cpl. Jennessa Davey, U.S. Marine Corps. For details, see


Thanks to CDR David Place (USN/Ret), davidplace47[at]gmail[dot]com, and Robin E. Alexander, President ATC, alexander technical[at]gmail[dot]com, for their assistance with this report, the background for which appeared in their  # 20 - 25 - 12 DECEMBER 2020 edition of the UNMANNED SYSTEMS NEWS (USN).

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