The Defense Department announced that the United States military successfully tested a swarm of 103 Perdix micro-drones programmed to fly and act in concert, much like bees. The 103 drones were dropped by three F/A-18 Super Hornets. The artificial intelligence software that guided the six inch long drones allowed the swarm to exhibit “collective decision-making, adaptive formation flying and self-healing,"

The advantages of using a swarm of micro-drones over a standard Predator drone are obvious.

Compared to a Predator, which is 27 feet in length with a 48.7 to 55.25 foot wingspan, the Perdix micro drone is all but undetectable.

On the other hand, the Pentagon is not releasing information on the speed and range of the micro-drones, both of which is likely less than the long range Predator. It may have to be delivered closer to a target by a fighter jet or even a larger drone.

A swarm of Perdix micro-drone would be able to cover a wider area at closer range than a single Predator. A Perdix swarm, linked and operating together, would likely be able to give the American military a greater view of a battlefield or an enemy installation.

The Perdix micro-drone could be used as an instrument of targeted assassination without risk of collateral damage. The Predator revolutionized war because it could deliver a Hellfire missile on a terrorist target, taking him out.

However the weapons system, which uses a high explosive, always has the potential of killing innocent civilians who happen to be around the terrorist, leading to a lot of moral quandaries for drone operators who have to kill people in real time.

Because of the artificial intelligence built in to the Perdix drone, they can be tasked with attacking a single terrorist and leaving everyone else nearby alive.

A single Perdix could deliver an explosive tipped or poison dart against a single terrorist, for example.

A Perdix micro-drone swarm would be terrifying to an enemy, being virtually undetectable until it is too late and unstoppable due to the fact it presents multiple targets. Only one has to get through to complete an assassination mission.

The weapon would provide a game changing advantage in the long war on terror.

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