The U.S. Army wants a new kind of long-range artillery rocketsâ€”one that doesn’t explode to destroy a target, but rather carries a payload of lethal drones. Entire swarms of tank-killing drones could fan out over a battlefield, hell-bent on finding and destroying enemy armored vehicles and critical supplies. It’s all part of the military’s new Third Offset Strategy, a plan to combine existing tech with new, inexpensive technologies to maintain America’s military edge.
Once over the target area, the rockets would dispense the quadcopters, which would then search for enemy armored vehicles. Once a vehicle is found, a quadcopter would hover over it and detonate an explosively forged projector payload, sending a jet of molten copper down into the thin top turret armor of a tank and killing it. The Army also sees the drones attacking fuel storage barrels and ammunition storage sites.
For more on the “Third Offset Strategy,” see this speech given byÂ Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work in 2016. If you are not familiar with the core ideas and technologies from the previous offset strategy from the 1980s, this piece [PDF] by former Defense Secretary William Perry is instructive.