by Michael Zennie Daily Mail
The U.S. Air Force is developing tiny unmanned drones that will fly in swarms, hover like bees, crawl like spiders and even sneak up on unsuspecting targets and execute them with lethal precision.
The Air Vehicles Directorate, a research arm of the Air Force, has released a computer-animated video outlining the the future capabilities of Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs). The project promises to revolutionize war by down-sizing the combatants.
‘MAVs will become a vital element in the ever-changing war-fighting environment and will help ensure success on the battlefield of the future,’ the narrator intones.
‘Unobtrusive, pervasive, lethal – Micro Air Vehicles, enhancing the capabilities of the future war fighter.’
Hovering: Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) are the future of the unmanned drones program, according to a new video from the Air Force. The Air Force has already developed a drone capable of hovering like a moth
Perching: The video, released by the Air Vehicle Directorate, shows a pigeon-like drone that can draw power from an electrical wire while its camera watches a target
Crawling: The drones will be equipped with legs so that they can crawl through tight spaces like an insect
The project, which is based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, was revealed in the March issue of the National Geographic magazine.
Air Force officials said they have already produced tiny remote-control prototypes – but they consume so much power that can only operate for a few minutes. Researchers estimate that it will take several years of advances in battery technology to make the designs feasible.
Still, the Air Force has a clear concept of what it hopes to accomplish with the program.
The promotional video begins with a swarm of tiny drones be dropped on a city from a passing plane.
The drones will work in concert to patch together a wide, detailed view of the battlefield – singling out individual targets without losing sight of the broader scene.
‘Data will be communicated among the MAVs to enable real time, reliable decision-making and to provide an advanced overall picture for other platforms or operators,’ the Air Force says.
Killing: The video demonstrates how MAVs could be used to sneak up behind unsuspecting targets and kill them with a single, lethal shot
Lethal: The drones could be equipped with incapacitating chemicals, combustible payloads or even explosives ‘for precision targeting capability’