Military-Grade Killer Drones Are Starting to Hit the Market – Popular Mechanics

This post was originally published on this site

The recent explosion of the consumer drone market has had far-reaching effects, the deadliest being their adaptation to weapons of war. Now, military-grade killer drones operable by a crew of one or two and capable of carrying precision-guided microbombs are starting to make their way into the global defense market. One of the first is Velvet Wasp, the drone that can carry anything from bombs to first aid supplies.

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

Developed by UK defense contractor SR, Velvet Wasp is a 37 pound drone with a carbon fiber frame. The drone can be packable but ideally is carried around by a vehicle. Fury is ideally controlled by a two person crew, a pilot and a navigator, although it could be controlled by a single person in a pitch. According to an article by Aviation Week, the drone is silent at an altitude of 1,000 feet and is “hard to pick up on radar.”

Pushed to speeds of up to 70 miles an hour by eight propellers, the killer drone has a single hard point—or a multi-carriage launcher—for launching lethal munitions at the enemy. It has a laser designator, for marking its own targets, and the control signals are encrypted to prevent someone else from hacking in and taking control of it.

The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) debuted at the 2017 Dubai Air Show, where it was displayed carrying the Textron Fury precision-guided munition. Fury is a thirteen pound aerial glide bomb that has both a GPS/inertial navigation guidance system and a laser guidance system. The little bomb is useful against moving targets and accurate to within three feet of its target. Fury is also capable of carrying first aid supplies, ammunition, or other supplies, dropping them by parachute.

Read more at Aviation Week.