by Dennis Cuddy, Ph.D.

December 21, 2021

Chris Ciaccia’s June 18 article, “Air Force is designing bird-like microdrones for warzone surveillance” for the DAILY MAIL begins: “The US Air Force is creating microdrones that can flap their wings like a bird or insect (photo with article).   The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is working with Airion Health LLC and using a 2014 patent to create a micro air vehicle (MAV) that can alter its speed and achieve ‘insect-like maneuverability’ for 21st century battlefields.”  One can also see the potential use of such microdrones for surveillance of individuals who might pay no attention to something that simply looks like a small horsefly sitting on her or his car or house.

Going one step further, look at Ken Dilanian’s “Kamikaze drones: A new weapon brings power and peril to the U.S. military” at on December 6, 2021.  His article begins with a “killer drone” whooshing out of its launch tube at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah and shooting into the sky.  What is important about this drone, produced by AeroVironment, is that it flies too fast for the naked eye to see, and can be programmed to hit a target up to 7 miles away!

The drone is called the “Switchblade 300,” and can be produced for a cost of just $6000.  Dilanian writes that “unlike typical missiles, the kamikaze drone can circle above a target and wait for the ideal moment and strike with incredible precision.  The U.S. has lost its monopoly on such technology,…and terrorists will eventually get them, too—a possibility that has homeland security officials scrambling to find a solution, given that there is no surefire defense against them.”  These killer drones are hard to detect on radar, weigh only 5.5 pounds including a small warhead, and can even be programmed to hit targets without human intervention.  AeroVironment’s CEO. Afghan-born Wahid Nawabi, claims: “It allows our warfighter to have a battlefield superiority, which our enemies can’t see, can’t hear, can’t tell it’s coming….The “300” model is designed to kill individuals, but the larger “600” model can destroy armored vehicles.  Michael Patrick Mulroy, a retired Marine and former CIA officer who was deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East from 2017 to 2019, warned: “We have found that every time we come up with some way to defend ourselves against (drones), the technology rapidly advances to the point where it defeats our defensive capabilities.”

Iranian-backed militias have already used small drones in 10 attacks this year on American military bases in Iraq, so can you imagine drones such as the Switchblade 300, carried in small backpacks, in the hands of Iranian-backed terrorists around the world, including in the U.S.? Dilanian wrote that “so far, no terrorists group is known to have used a suicide drone.  But experts believe it’s only a matter of time….The specter of a swarm of explosive-packed drones buzzing toward a crowded U.S. sports arena keeps homeland security officials up at night….In 2018, the head of the Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence division at the time told Congress that drones posed a major threat….’Commercially available drones can be employed by terrorists and criminals to deliver explosives or harmful substances, conduct surveillance both domestically and internationally against U.S. citizens, interests and assets,’ said the official, David Glawe. ‘This threat is significant, and it’s imminent, and it’s upon us.'”  Drones that are so small and can fly too fast for the naked eye to see could be used to target specific government officials, including the president, and others.  And as I said in Part 1 of this series, I have warned the Secret Service to be on the lookout for something like this.

On December 20, Charles Kim for NEWSMAX reported “Expert Warns Weaponized Drones May Come to US Soon,” in which he said: “As drones become an increasingly normal sight in some unrestricted areas, one expert warns that they may soon become a potentially deadly weapon here in the United States….DRONE WARS author Seth Frantzman said the devices could eventually show up on American shores for terrorist attacks or could be used by domestic groups trying to cause unrest….Counter terrorism expert Bernard Hudson told the news organization that domestic use of weaponized drones here would not be surprising….Right now, there is no existing, easy technology that’s been deployed at U.S. airports to stop somebody from maliciously attacking an aircraft at take-off or landing….Historically, the protection of the U.S. power network has always focused on ground-based threats….They are not designed to stop threats from above.”

Drone Wars, Part 1

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