The Future Of Warfare: Laser Cannons & Drone Armies
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The Future Of Warfare: Laser Cannons & Drone Armies

September 6, 2019

The technology of warfare is in constant flux. I mean, there weren’t even drones as we
know them until late in the last century, and now? RELEASE THE SWARM. Hey there friends, Trace here for DNews. Military technology has been a driver of innovation
for centuries. Scientists, keen to see their research funded,
have been recruited into government programs and helped create some truly fearsome technology. In the last few weeks, we’ve seen a number
of pieces of military tech that have given us the shudders… For example, in January 2017, the Pentagon
announced they’d successfully launched 103 microdrones from F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter
jets. A DRONE SWARM! In fact, according to the Pentagon’s statement,
the 103 microdrones are very much like a Zerg swarm. They’re, quote, “not preprogrammed synchronized
individuals, they are a collective organism, sharing one distributed brain for decision-making
and adapting to each other like swarms in nature.” End quote. Let all those who oppose the Overmind feel
the wrath of the swarm! The modern unmanned aerial drone was first
imagined by Nikola Tesla in the 1890s. Now more than 100 years later, we’ve created
a hydra-like swarm of six inch (16cm) autonomous vehicles that could (according to Popular
Mechanics) jam enemy communications, form an ad-hoc communications network, carry explosives,
trick or jam enemy radar, and even attack individuals. The terrifying goal is to create the drones
in batches of 1,000 and be able to launch them from fighter jets or large cargo planes. Of course, in this crazypants future we’d
also need a way to fight drones… so why not lasers? IT’S THE FUTURE, RIGHT? In December 2016, the Department of Defense
announced a 51-percent budget increase (to 328 million dollars) for “directed energy”
weapons… Fancy budget talk for LASERS. The DoD’s research group, DARPA, has been
working on laser weapons for a long time. They tried mounting lasers inside 747s, but
they were relatively slow, and not particularly accurate. The Navy mounted a laser on the USS Ponce,
which uses heat energy to destroy drones and other targets, the Army has a laser on the
back of a truck that can attack drones and mortars, and the Marines are working on a
humvee mounted laser of their very own. Of course, this new research is still classified,
but with such a sharp budget increase, there must be something going on. Lasers are still bulky energy hogs, but in
an email to Seeker’s own Eric Niller: the director of the Directed Energy Professional
Society said the biggest issue is just getting the military to actually use lasers. I mean, if we can shoot a drone with a bullet
or other traditional projectile, why use a laser? There is one obvious reason, pollution. Lasers are energy, but a bullet leaves behind
a casing, and the lead from the projectile itself. And it’s not just bullets, shell casings
from grenades and explosives also are left in warzones. Over time, the lead from the bullets themselves
can pollute ground water and poison the soil. Once in the environment, lead causes damage
to the “brain, blood, kidneys, heart, and reproductive organs” and can kill wildlife
too. Even though it sounds hippy dippy, the DoD
has a solution: biodegradable, lead-free bullets! Sadly, not the actual small bullets, just
40 and 120 millimeter sized casings to start — they’re used in mortars and tanks. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has developed
and tested bioengineered seeds that can be embedded in the shells, that grow plants after
they’ve been left in soil for “several months.” Those plants then absorb chemicals and contribute
to the rehabilitation of the warzone. Yep, the U.S. Army could shoot shells that
result in new forests. Warfare of tomorrow might not be Terminators
and Matrices. Instead, we might be shooting lasers, at swarms
of unmanned aerial drones, and if we do have to fire a round, it might leave behind the
seed of a new life. The future is weird. One thing is for sure, scientists will keep
working on projects that push humanity forward, and sometimes, it will be thanks to war. For example, Ex-Nazis and Jewish scientists
were responsible for getting us to the moon. Amy’s got the story for you here. How do you feel about these? Do you have a favorite? Tell us in the comments, please subscribe
for more DNews and thanks for watching.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. anything thanks makes it so we don't have to depend on armies to defend tyrants is all for the good. Big plus, it will be easier then ever for us to kill each other. the future is sounding awesome.

  2. Yeah you guys know it. The war of tomorrow will be awesome just like the wars of the past where. If you're rich and not fighting them I guess. The rest of us, well they'll suck like always.

  3. The micro-drone swarms are exciting because further miniaturization to the microscopic extreme may result in creation of levitating, polymorphic matter.

  4. Is this the box where we disclose all of our top secret plans for future military weaponry? I just gotta make sure before I start writing about my light saber plans.

  5. The ship lasers require large amounts of fuel (Oxygen Iodine ) they useful for hitting missiles and such but they cannot fire for long as it over heats and also the need for speical ships to carry the fuel for the lasers is required and so it was stopped there and moving on to drops with carbon lasers to fly laser people ….. big lasers aren't also good with shiny surfaces and I know as must leave plastic on stainless metal when laser cutting it or else it doesn't cut or well

  6. How cute, an army giving a f*** about life. How about if they would just be disbanded? That would be best for humans, wildlife, and environment!

  7. Why are we spending so much resources fighting each other lets find some galactic civilization and colonize their planets.

  8. ah, good old humanity, spending more money, time and effort on killing rather than spending all these resources on medicine and affordable healthcare (I can add more but you get the gist of what I'm trying to say here).

  9. That money could be spent in education or hospitals. .do we really need that drone swarm or laser canon ?? What u think Trace ?

  10. If you don't give me that thing I'll hit you!
    Oh yea I'll hit you twice!
    Oh yea, I just spent all of my wealth into creating this one thing that will annihilate all of your wealth!

  11. Let's put a laser on a satellite then just be like BOOP ur dead. Shoot it through a mirror so other lasers bounce off lol then it would be REALLY easy to destroy forests

  12. but laser requires too much energy and it doesn't have enough power from small frame (of power/battery).
    the best is still the old trusted physical object (eg. bullet).

  13. It's not hard to make biodegradable lead-free bullets! Just make them out of iron and use a chemically stable (e.g. non-oxidizable) metal such as a zinc-based alloy to thinly coat the surfaces that are exposed before the bullets are used. Nature will take care of the rest after the bullet is used and uncoated surfaces become exposed. Those engineers didn't think of that. And it's cheap unlike their solutions cuz iron and metal-plating is cheap. They're retarded.

  14. Oh great another COD game… Thanks Obama, you had to get us one more time before you left smh – Barry O

  15. okay, let's find new ways to kill people and be less concerned about the environment. WHAT A GREAT IDEA!! and you guys are promoting it like it's a new found product that will kill humans in a sufficient way.

  16. "If only someone invented a handheld weapon that only kills the enemy without trails of pollution. Something like a sharp object that can go through my body and kill me without those lead or shells. We could've had a better non polluted environment if only we have that kind of weapon…"

  17. lasers will be a new section of military tech, It will never be what they are in star wars ( pretty one hoping for that, sorry ) drones could play a big part role in the near future of warfare, definitely further down the line but again star wars is not going to happen 😧

  18. Well… let me state the obvious to make me feel better. Swarms of drones can be easily countered by today's SPAAGs and point defence systems (like C-RAM and CIWS) that have insane fire rates and potentially AHEAD (air burst) ammunition. Also small drones can't have much armor so they be susceptible to small arms fire and stuff like 50 cal MGs and they can't have weapons with large recoil.

    Lasers need a lot of energy and space to rival conventional weapons. They lose firepower (focus) on larger distances or when fired through smoke. Another thing is that you are going to be hard pressed to find a laser that can harm a tank or other AFVs. Laser emitters also produce large ammounts of heat that can expose their position. Furthermore they may need cooling systems or pauses for cooling.

  19. Sure. We need more money to build lasers and drones. Healthcare, climate change and education? Nah. Those are a waste of money.

  20. 40mm is used in the Navy's and Army's 40mm Grenade Launchers, including those mounted underneath individual soldiers' assault rifles, the belt fed ones in some helicopters, atop some Humvees, and aboard some smaller ships and boats. 20mm is a standard caliber for the M61 Vulcan "Gatling" gun we use in all of our fighter jets, and older attack helicopters, the Navy's Phalanx CIWS, and the M163 AntiAircraft "Tank" of Vietnam War vintage.

  21. An autonomous batmobile like vehicle that can be remote controlled capable of deploying 100 swarm like drones and mounted with lasers

  22. Hold up, so wee are spending money to make war green, but not to make green energy for the country LMAO "only in America."😂

  23. nice idea with bio-bullets, tho the seed bullet thing seems a little…
    also i think the instant speed and accuracy of lazers (cause no one has told them about aerodynamics yet) was glanced over.

  24. Another reason to use auto-targetting lasers: YOU CAN'T HIT A DRONE WITH A GUN.

    And if you do, One Thousand flying bombs overall, One Thousand flying bombs, you shoot one down explodes on the ground, 999 flying bombs overall.

    A third reason is that thus far, human shooters have noticed that drones do not always get mission-killed by one bullet. Yes, you're reading that right. A tiny racing drone took 4 hits, and hundreds of rounds into the air with almost no cover for several minutes, to kill. If it had had a small bomb or a gun on it, everyone shooting would've been subject to attack multiple times before the thing was downed.

    Let's get something straight: if you're within the range where you're accurate enough to hit it, you've got a couple of seconds before it is in your face. 99% of people will not be able to stop just 2 potentially-exploding drones flying at them in zig-zagging rolls and dizzying loops at 60 mph. Nobody, and I mean nobody, will be able to stop 1000. Even with the lasers, good luck. Laser turrets mostly don't have great turn rates, and WWII AAA wanted enemy planes to be 1400 meters up so they could turn faster than the planes could move. Let's hope laser turrets would swivel quickly.

  25. There is one obvious advantage to lasers over bullets. The speed of light. No more leading targets. No more people dodging your fire by hitting the ground. What you aim for will be hit, period.

  26. Annony posted a scary video. These flies will kill those who mess with the government by remote control. They will also spy on those who say or type words that raise a red flag. The patriotic act opened a door to anyone. Tech can see what we do on social media, our computers, and can watch us through the front hole on iPhones. We’re no longer free

  27. which freaking military on this freaking planet cares about pollution when they talk about shedding their enemies blood everyday???

  28. Western Europe colonized 80% of the world because they had the best weapons technology (gunpowder). Those with the best weapons are victorious. "Speak softly and carry a big stick.."

  29. put up a swarm of hydrogen filled balloons with aluminum strips attached to them. easily destroy the drone swarm with one tracer round

  30. Instead of Border Wall? Border swarms sensors would ID human movement and dispatch swarm drones …first on scene would warn the person but failure to turn back or lay down and wait for cops? Kill Shot….tiny drone would just bonsai the offender and at the last moment fire a single .177 supersonic projectile / head shot every time After a short time word would get out and people would simply stop trying to come across or smuggle shit….cause it aint worth being shot in the HEAD over

  31. At the beginning, we dropped them out of planes. By the end, they had dropped us from the plane. dom Dom DOMMMMM

  32. Think of a semi-autonomous drone swarm that can be deployed from missiles, gather intelligence, deploy weapons (including NBC), snarl electronics, and then recharge and refuel to do it over and over again at a host station. In the face of this technology, you can either 1.) deploy your own drone-killing machines, 2.) theoretically deploy an EMP generator that renders them useless, 3.) attempt to breach their communications and gain control over the swarm yourself, or 4.) maintain other forms of deterrence (e.g., nuclear) that reduce the probability of you being attacked. Unfortunately, option 2 disrupts your unshielded electronic systems too, so not great. Command and control is pretty tight, so option 3 is possible, but probably not sustainable. Option 4 risks a retaliatory strike. Thus, we are in, and will continue to be in, a "drone arms race" around the world.

    I cannot imagine sitting on the front lines when you hear a swarm of these drones coming your way, backed by aerial drones with air-to-ground weapons. It would be terrifying. The persistence of these vehicles will also render traditional guerrilla and insurgency techniques obsolete. The smaller drones could literally just wait or hide on the ground and charge in the sun until they detect someone walking by, and they don't ever sleep or take breaks. If equipped with energy-directed weapons, they wouldn't even need ammunition reserves.

    Unfortunately, the ability to wage war without human losses to the antagonists will make the probability of military antagonism more likely. There is something different about killing someone through a computer screen than in the field. No smells. No fear to yourself. It will make killing sadly easy. Developing nations will have no choice but to fall in line or develop NBC weapons that give them leverage, and I ultimately think that EMPs will be the defensive weapon of choice against this technology and guided energy weapons. In the wake of large-scale conflict with drones and guided energy weapons, it's not hard to envision battles afterward being fought on horse-back. Ironic to come full circle…

  33. I don't think the weapon is the concern. Detection is. A drone hides. And a drone is expendable. And a drone hugs the earth. Advances to and replacements for radar are imperative, both earth and space bound. We are not hearing about them. But that is what is critical.

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