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DoD’s Strategic Capabilities Office Demos Perdix Micro-Drones

The Defense Department’s strategic capabilities office demonstrated a swarm of 103 autonomous micro-drones in October at China Lake in California.

SCO teamed up with the Naval Air Systems Command to deploy the Perdix micro-drones from three Boeing-built F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets, DoD said in a news release published Monday.

According to SCO, the swarm of drones exhibited adaptive formation flying, collective decision-making and self-healing during the flight demonstration.

“Because every Perdix communicates and collaborates with every other Perdix, the swarm has no leader and can gracefully adapt to drones entering or exiting the team,” said William Roper, director of SCO.

Perdix is a low-altitude unmanned vehicle designed to perform intelligence, surveillance and reconnaisance missions.

Engineers and scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory modified the unmanned system, which is currently on its sixth generation, in 2013 for military use.

SCO has also collaborated with the Defense Industrial Unit-Experimental to look for companies that could use the design from MIT Lincoln Laboratory to replicate and mass produce the drones in batches of up to 1,000.

The flight demonstration was documented on CBS News program “60 Minutes” Sunday.

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