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LOCUST: Multiple Swarming UAVs to Overwhelm Opponents

Office of Naval Research (ONR) researchers recently held technology demonstrations of swarming unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) - part of the Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology (LOCUST) program. LOCUST can launch swarming UAVs to autonomously overwhelm an adversary. The LOCUST program includes a tube-based launcher that can send UAVs into the air in rapid succession. The breakthrough technology then utilizes information-sharing between the UAVs, enabling autonomous collaborative behavior in either defensive or offensive missions. Since the launcher and the UAVs themselves have a small footprint, the technology enables swarms of compact UAVs to take off from ships, tactical vehicles, aircraft, or other unmanned platforms.