The US Is Testing Micro-Drone Swarms Deployed From Fighter Jets

The micro-drones use collective decision-making to execute missions.

The US Is Testing Micro-Drone Swarms Deployed From Fighter Jets
U.S. Department of Defense

These U.S. fighter jets are releasing swarms of micro-drones.

They're called Perdix micro-drones, and they were originally developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Labs. The drones are meant for intelligence, surveillance and recon.

In October, 103 3-D printed drones were deployed from three F/A-18 Super Hornets.

This is what it sounded like.

The drones then completed "missions." The swarm was able to do collective decision-making, adaptive-formation flying and self-healing.

U.S. soldiers assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, retrieve an enemy drone while conducting an assault.

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Self-healing is essentially the ability of a drone swarm to reconfigure its formation if one of the drones goes down.

It was the largest such test from the Defense Department. While these drones aren't weaponized, the U.S. has expressed interest in attack swarms for the future.