Interceptor/Combat fighter swarm with drones

perttime

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This concept has been bugging my mind and the "Smallest possible interceptor" thread ( http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,19242.0.html ) got me thinking about it again.

Feel free to shoot this down but I'd prefer to keep things civil ;)

Starting points:
- If you are doing an interceptor job, you might want to have one or more humans on location to get a positive ID of the Subject. So, missiles and even drones (alone) are not the ideal solution.
- With latest combat aircraft, networking between the combat units and other assets seems to be partly reality now and surely a necessity in the future.
- Drones can be made to maneuver pretty independently or as a swarm where units don't collide with each other.
- I like small aircraft :)

The Swarm:
What if you had a couple of human flown aircraft, and a swarm of specialized drones, with at least one human operator controlling what the drones are doing. Communication between the units would have to be pretty well secured. Some drones would have good radar and other sensors while the ones with missiles (or guns) could be totally separate from those (?)

Advantages:
A hostile enemy would have harder time selecting targets and shooting down yours, and shooting down a few would not end the fight.
A fast and agile drone may be harder to shoot down.
Each drone can be much cheaper, smaller, and lighter than a manned aircraft that can do everything.

Disadvantages:
Lots of units to maintain.
Can you maintain the secure communication against jamming/hijacking etc?
How well can the enemy differentiate between targets and spend the missiles on the most valuable ones?
 

bobbymike

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http://warontherocks.com/2016/02/imagine-the-starling-peak-fighter-the-swarm-and-the-future-of-air-combat/
 

sferrin

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bobbymike said:
http://warontherocks.com/2016/02/imagine-the-starling-peak-fighter-the-swarm-and-the-future-of-air-combat/

Read a Sci-Fi book once (that for the life of me I can never remember) that had things like this. Basically nanobots would combine into whatever gear was needed for a particular task. The way they dealt with an enemy soldier sounded painful. Like mechanical acid. "Dust" would just dissolve them and make more nanobots.
 

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