Russian defense firm Kronshtadt unveiled a drone swarm control system at the Dubai Airshow 2021, which can be mounted on airborne or shipborne platforms.
The artificial intelligence-backed system controls a group of drones without an operator’s direct control, TASS revealed citing a company’s representative.
The outlet added that the operator will only “set general goals,” leaving the main tasks such as drone flight control, systems management, target tasks, and ensuring interoperability inside drone swarms for the AI.
Can Control Four Drones Simultaneously
Kronstadt CEO Sergey Bogatikov was quoted by Shepherd News as explaining that “the operator does not have to search for targets in the video stream on his own; the system will hint [to] him elements that are worth paying attention to.”
“And instead of building a flight route manually, indicating each point on the map, he simply draws the search area, and the [drones] themselves will determine the optimal order of the task, considering the enemy forces and equipment, terrain conditions and meteorological conditions.”
The outlet cited a company’s representative as saying that a single system can simultaneously control four Kronshtadt-made Orion unmanned aerial vehicles while five systems can be outfitted in a single platform enhancing the number of drones in the swarm to 20. The outlet added that efforts are on to make the system compatible with non-Kronshtadt drones in the future.
The Kronshtadt Orion
The Orion was inducted in 2020 and has since been deployed in Syria for reconnaissance and anti-terrorist strikes.
The 1,150 kilograms (2,535 pound)-heavy unmanned aerial vehicle can carry a maximum payload of 200 kilograms (440 pound), which includes unguided and corrected aerial bombs, as well as various guided missiles. The Russian army was reportedly planning to test fire anti-tank missiles from the drone this year.
The Orion flies at a maximum speed of 200 kilometers (124 miles) per hour and has a maximum altitude of seven kilometers (four miles).