The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has created its new LOCUST (Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology) program. It utilizes a rocket tube launcher filled with lightweight, self-guided Coyote UAVs that team up and overwhelm enemy aircraft like honey bees defending their hive.
The LOCUST program successfully completed a series of initial test launches last month. Up next: a "2016 ship-based demonstration of 30 rapidly launched autonomous, swarming UAVs," ONR program manager Lee Mastroianni said in a statement. And over the next decade or so, the ONR hopes to deeply integrate these highly-autonomous UAV systems like this into numerous naval platforms — from small ships and tactical vehicles to aircraft and even other, bigger drones.