Ukraine will be a proving ground for new lessons as armies race to build deadlier and more cost-effective drones, but given the price and research time it is unlikely to witness a growth in advanced AI in unmanned aerial aircraft.

In this follow-up article on how drones have transformed the Ukraine conflict, we take a look to the near future, asking experts how drones could make the future of warfare unrecognisable from today’s struggles.

Drone swarms equipped with AI and machine learning can speak to each other while en route to attack, for example, a large airfield. They could then decide to strike from several directions, each going after their own designated target such as missile defences, control tower and aircraft hangars.

The UAE is pushing ahead in this field with the Edge company developing the Hunter 2-S drones that feature a swarm of loitering munitions, with the operator’s only involvement being selecting the targets and ordering the UAVs to take-off.

“The drones decide among themselves, the route to fly, how to approach the target and how many should attack each target,” said military analyst Sam Cranny-Evans.

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