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Cheap drones and countermeasures: What worries experts about the future of warfare

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Experts said at the Aspen Security Forum in Aspen, Colorado on Friday that recent developments have made it easier than ever to obtain military-grade drones, and the United States needs to focus on developing drone countermeasures. rice field.

“The availability of cheap drones shows that violent radicalists fighting around the world have easy access to this technology, so I think this is a serious problem,” R. -Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa, and a ranking member of the Senate Military Commission, said. “They don’t have to develop anything. All they have to do is jump on Amazon and buy a $ 300 drone that they can use against their enemies. That’s a real concern. “

Ernst and Rep of D-Colo, members of the House Committee on Armed Services. Jason Crow discussed the need for development and countermeasures for drone technology.

Ernst said China and Russia have begun to focus on “herd technology.” This is a concept discussed in a US Air Force treatise and defined as “a group of autonomous networked small unmanned aerial vehicle systems that work together to achieve a common goal.” The goal of such an approach is to overwhelm the target and “saturate the defense.”

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“It’s not just a one-time purchase on the Internet, but now there are enemies close to peers who are developing swarm intelligence technologies that can use 100 or 200 different drones. Highly evolved drones. May attack service members. On the battlefield. ”

As the United States is also exploring these types of weapons, it remains important to develop AI to better utilize such technologies, Crow added.

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“We also have some very big unanswered questions and we have to have some public debate about them,” he said. “It’s not just technology and investment, but we need to discuss the role of AI, because there is a democratic discussion that takes into account its moral and ethical implications. Drones and some of our enemies. How not to do it. ”

Introducing AI into the debate also raises the question of what role humans play “in the kill chain.” Eliminating people can speed up decision making and targeting in combat scenarios.

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“Looking at the great power competition, involvement in PACOM (US Indo-Pacific Army), and what the engagement scenarios and some war plans look like, it’s an essential part of the unresolved debate.” He says. He said.

Ernst also explained the need to develop interoperable systems to handle the new landscape of aerial warfare, with a particular focus on Iran and its capabilities.

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“With the threat posed by Iran, we are not only missile defense, but now air defense in a way we didn’t have to think about before because of the drone threat,” she said. “Therefore, in reality, a two-chamber bipartisan action that allows the Secretary of Defense to work with many allies and partners to devise an interoperability system that extends to air defense and missile defense throughout the Middle East. Yes, it aims to protect against the threat posed by Iran. “

The The Wall Street Journal reported The Federal Aviation Administration predicted that the number of unmanned drones in US airspace would quadruple from 110,000 to 450,000 in 2022.

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