US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States
Drone swarms are here. The United States, China, and Russia are on the forefront of drone swarm development and utilization. However, the low cost and easy accessibility to drones allow non-state actors to utilize drones in imaginative and creative ways, to include swarming. The aim of the monograph is to address the following question What utility do drone swarms provide the military Drone swarms provide numerous advantages, to include persistent intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting low-risk and low-cost to military personnel and organizations, and the potential to paralyze personal and organizational decision making. In contrast, drone swarms come with vulnerabilities and challenges. The vulnerabilities range from an adversary hacking to the existence of counter swarm weapons, and some challenges include organizational resistance and international law. Drone swarms are here and are coming to a battlefield soon, and it is time to address how best to employ them. After outlining the potential benefits and limitations of drone swarms, the monograph concludes with four recommendations the need for narrative, establishing a drone swarm doctrine, understanding human-drone interface, and an organizational transition for drone swarm employment.