Army Works to Implement Autonomous Swarms in Operations

Jeff Brody

Army Futures Command has been studying the use of unmanned systems to form tactical swarms that would support small units of soldiers.

The service branch said Wednesday it aims to have swarms work with soldiers for the implementation of manned-unmanned teaming.

AFC's Combat Capabilities Development Command is working to implement autonomous swarms for dangerous or tedious tasks across various types of missions.

The Army wants robustness, flexibility and persistence, so we're moving away from controlling through tele-operating and trending toward commanding," said Osie David, a chief engineer at CCDC's center for command, control, communications, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

The center is looking into the full potential of applying swarms to support mission commanders, David noted. He also said swarms are made to complement and support human work in battlefield decision making.

"Swarm technology, with a potential combination of unmanned aerial and ground vehicles, is ideally suited for difficult-to-maneuver environments like cities, forests or caves," said RJ Regars, a systems engineer at the C5ISR Center's Command, Power and Integration Directorate.

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