30 of these nano-UAVs have been ordered by the U.K’s army, but experts say they can’t be counted on.
The army has obtained 30 small-sized drones known as Bugs. The novel drones are capable of spying on enemies 1.25 miles away. Each Bug drone weighs only 196g and equals the size of a hand.
The new bug has been described as the Soldier’s eyes and could complete its spying mission even in strong winds. Bae systems have created it in a combined effort with UAVtec, and they claim that this drone can fly at winds more than 80km/h. The Bug drone proved its worth in an Army Warfighting experiment hosted by the Ministry of Defence’s Future Capability Group.
James Gerard, Principal Technologist, BAE Systems’ said in a statement, “In even the toughest weather, the Bug can deliver vital tactical intelligence on what’s around the corner or over the next hill, working autonomously to give troops a visual update. Combined with our other information advantage products, this video feed could be shared multi-domain, enabling commanders on land, sea, and air to increase their situational awareness and inform their decisions.”
Chris Cole, Director of Drone Wars, in a statement to The Guardian, said that “Drones simply cannot be counted on.” Hence, even if this technology might seem exciting, the experts still argue how misleading it could be.
In another statement, Cole said, “Drone warfare is evolving in multiple ways, including the increasing use of nano surveillance drones like these new ‘Bug’ UAVs by individual military units. Such systems, however, can only give very sketchy intelligence and are likely to give a false sense of security and situational awareness to units on the ground.”
Cole further added, “We have seen many times in the past commanders ordering airstrikes and other lethal action based on information obtained via remote surveillance only for the situation on the ground to have turned out to be very different with this false sense of understanding leading to civilian casualties.” He emphasized that such false intel of the on-ground conditions could lead to drastic results, making it that you really can’t count on such technologies.
Time will unfold as to what happens with these new Bugs that U.K’s army is now equipped with. Whether if they prove useful in military operations or if the speculations made by some experts get to be true. It is certain that these newer technology drones could really turn the tables on a battlefield and would be used by most nation’s armies in the future.