Will Nesting Drones become the ultimate tactical weapon?

You obviously know nesting dolls, sometimes called Russian dolls or Matryoshka, these small dolls which open and constrain smaller, and smaller, and smaller dolls. This same principle is in the process of being imposed in many military programs under development, this time applied to drones. Not having yet a universal name, we take the part of designating them by the term Drones-Gigognes. What is it exactly? Rather than carrying tactical weapons, such as bombs or missiles, as in the case of Remote Carrier Europeans or American longshot, a Gigogne Drone will carry several smaller drones, themselves being able to carry other even smaller drones, such as roaming ammunition, but also detection systems or ammunition.

This is precisely what engineers from the US Air Force and the Kratos company have experienced during 6 tests being held in recent weeks on the Yuma polygon, Arizona. An XQ-58A Valkyrie combat drone, used in the context of Skyborg program, has indeed dropped in flight an Altius 600 light drone, the latter being controlled by the intermediary of the Valkyrie which acted as communication node. In July 2020, it was a MALE MQ-1C Gray Eagle drone which had dropped the same Altius 600 drone during tests conducted by General Atomics, in order to demonstrate the ability of MALE drones to act as a mother drone (in General Atomics terminology) to control light tactical airborne drones. Similar trials have been carried out in Russia, Israel and China it seems, and other countries, such as India and Turkey, are actively preparing for them.

The American General Atomics tested in July 2020 the drone drop Altius 600 from its MALE MQ-1C Gray Eagle drone. In this illustration, an MQ-1C carries 10 tactical drones.

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