DARPA tests a swarm of 250 drones to assist the infantry in urban areas

The US Department of Defense has just released a video of a recent experiment with a swarm of flying and terrestrial drones.

In a trial conducted last June in the state of Georgia (USA), Darpa, the research agency of the US Department of Defense, assembled land and air drones in a simulation of a military mission. She posted the progress of the operation in a  video on YouTube.

In an area two blocks away, drones had to carry out different tasks in autonomous teams. They were able to locate and isolate a target building, find a goal inside, and secure the building while monitoring the surroundings. Each operation lasted up to thirty minutes.

Swarms that can integrate up to 250 drones

This demonstration is part of the Offset program, OFFensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics or Offensive Tactics in Swarm, in French. The goal of Offset is to create swarms of drones capable of accompanying small infantry units. In the long term, swarms should be able to integrate up to 250 aircraft, both air, and land.

The video released shows the second test out of six planned. These take place every six months and increase each time in complexity. Drone swarms bring many benefits, such as the ability to track in low visibility environments, including dense urban areas. They are also much harder to eliminate. The loss of some devices affects only very little the efficiency of the swarm.