The creation of a small drone furnished with a warhead and a video camera adjustable in a rucksack was inevitable. It was supposed to be a Kamikaze-style drone, able to fly and hunt the target it was considered to fire. So, how did Kamikaze drones come into existence? Let’s find out.
The Rise of Kamikaze Drones
The U.S. army publicized the signed contract of nearly $5 million with California company AeroVironment to procure Switchblade drones in June 2011.
An approximately two-feet-long tube launches a Switchblade that sprouts its wings immediately after the exit. After that, an operator holds the command to control it by viewing the video displayed by the drone on a shoe-box-shaped viewer.
This battery-powered robot can fly expeditiously without being tracked by the naked eye. They are programmed to strike a desired target.
These radio-controlled pilotless aircraft use a quiet electric motor. Moreover, they can switch off themselves to sail silently near the target and explode in a fireball. Americans are familiar with the use of Hellfire missiles to direct a large amount of Predators drones to destroy terrorist sites in various countries.
However, these unmanned aerial vehicles are evolving rapidly and the monopoly of the U.S. on the technology has vanished. Below, you will become acquainted with the innovative technology behind the American “Kamikaze drone” so keep the ball rolling to remain up-to-date.
What Experts Say About Kamikaze Drones
The experts are of the view that ground warfare will benefit from these semi-autonomous weapons. They can leave behind the traditional defenses to ruin the enemy anywhere on the battlefield.
These small Kamikaze drones are cost-effective, charging $6000 apiece, as opposed to Hellfire missiles fired by Reaper drones with a market price of $150,000.
These Kamikaze drones are dubbed “suicide” or “killer” drones as they don’t fire missiles. Rather, they are the missiles. Contrary to the classic missile, they orbit around the target from above without making noise. Then they wait for the perfect moment to hunt it down with extreme precision. The U.S. Army fought well in Afghanistan and Iraq thanks to these killer drones as the enemy didn’t have them.
How Kamikaze Drones Can Help
It’s the hot topic of today’s news that the U.S. military will soon deliver tiny Kamikaze drones to its troops.
Tiny drones are perfect for snooping about the insurgents. However, they are not good for warfare as they are unable to carry missiles. The ammunition manufacturer AeroVironment solved the issue by converting drones into missiles. To attain this objective, they spent $4.9 million to bring them to the battlefield.
The tiny killer Kamikaze drones labeled as Switchblade are guided missiles hunting down a single foe. The military utilizes Puma and Raven like mini-drones for spying. However, the missiles are too heavy for them to carry and use against enemies.
Arcturus, a northern California company, possesses a drone with 17 feet wingspan bearing a 10-pound missile. Recently, AeroVironment has changed the narrative by converting the tiny drones into missiles without the need of carrying missiles. It bears a spy camera which works as a one-way mission.
AeroVironment displayed a video named AUVSI at the August drone expo and represents the issue these Switchblades could resolve. The insurgents opened fire at the troops on patrol forcing them to hide behind their vehicles. The close air support can bombard the insurgents and save the troops but its arrival requires time. The tiny drones can spy on the rebels without coming to their notice but are unable to kill them. Here comes the Switchblade, solving all the issues together.
Taken Into Battle in a Rucksack
Switchblades can be taken into battlefields in a rucksack as they weigh only 51/2 pounds including tiny warheads and can travel up to 7 miles to strike the programed target. A single foe can be targeted with the 300 model and the 600 models. A larger version can dash armored vehicles.
The military has been trying to miniaturize warfare drones for a long time, as the enterprising engineers equipped an unmanned helicopter with a rifle and named it as Autonomous Rotorcraft Sniper System. It’s bigger than Switchblade but smaller than the Predator. The Air Force carried out a mysterious experiment referred to as Project Anubis and tested tiny drones in 2008.
What the Future Holds for These Killer Drones
The time is not far away when there will be many Kamikaze drones other than the Switchblade. But it’s believed that the first killer mini-drone the U.S. military bought is the Switchblade. The Army signed a $4.9 million contract with AeroVironment on July 29 for rapid fielding of Kamikaze drones to deployed combat forces. American Kamikaze drones can spy over the rebels and can destroy enemy posts without attracting notice as missiles.
As the annual defense budget reaches $700 billion, this $4.9 million is not much. But the previous circumstances have revealed that the troops are extra vigilant about applying tiny drones out of the dread of their exploitation and their army units might consider it exorbitant.