There are drones, and then “Swarm”, a “super drone” / “manned aerial vehicle” powered by 54 counter-rotation propellers and six grouped control channels with Hobbyking stabilization. To protect the pilot, a polycarbonate dome was installed. The craft has a maximum take-off weight of approximately 362-pounds and can remain in the air for about 10 minutes on a single charge. Continue reading for a video on the latest in military drone technology.
As of January 2014, the U.S. military operates a large number of unmanned aerial systems: 7,362 RQ-11B Ravens; 145 AeroVironment RQ-12A Wasps; 1,137 AeroVironment RQ-20A Pumas; and 306 RQ-16 T-Hawk Small UAS systems and 246 Predators and MQ-1C Grey Eagles; 126 MQ-9 Reapers; 491 RQ-7 Shadows; and 33 RQ-4 Global Hawk large systems. The use of drones in the military is expected to increase in coming years because UAVs curb defense spending. The MQ-9 Reaper costs $12 million while an F-22 costs over $120 million.