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Arty UAS Swarms - And when does the class change from RRCA to RCAF?

Kirkhill

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And no, I don't have a clue how these pieces fit together with 60/81/120mm mortars, 105/155mm gun-howitzers, 66/70/84/120/150mm ATGMs, assorted missiles, UAV's and assorted Radars and Air Defence Systems.

Just seems to me be an awful lot of jobs for Gunners.
 
With the Switchblade, etc I'd argue that it's an Infantry weapon, not Arty.

But so far, Class 1 and 2 UAS will be the purview of the CA, RCN, and SOF, with Class 3 and up with the RCAF.
 
With the Switchblade, etc I'd argue that it's an Infantry weapon, not Arty.

But so far, Class 1 and 2 UAS will be the purview of the CA, RCN, and SOF, with Class 3 and up with the RCAF.
I tend to agree. Something on the scale of Switchblades 300 and 600 strike me as a weapon locker choice for a beefed up battalion mortar platoon and with the latter perhaps the anti armour platoon. There are some clear weapon handling characteristics that are complementary while others require some additional organization and skill sets.

But doable I think.

The big issue for me when we discuss whether its an arty job or someone else's (forget the RCAF - they have a whole different niche - is whether the weapon system is one best use in the local battle at the battalion or whether it is something that needs massing across the brigade front and in depth and to another extent, needs a dedicated ammunition resupply system because of weight or numbers.

🍻
 
With the Switchblade, etc I'd argue that it's an Infantry weapon, not Arty.

But so far, Class 1 and 2 UAS will be the purview of the CA, RCN, and SOF, with Class 3 and up with the RCAF.

For we gravel bellies, what class drone would these qualify as? I'm guessing 1 & 2?

Big guns and small drones: The devastating combo Ukraine is using to fight off Russia​


The importance of artillery is underscored by international efforts to ship more guns and ammunition to Ukraine, with many NATO members contributing some of the newest and most advanced versions of these weapons.

But experts say Ukrainian forces are going one better by harnessing widely available drone technology to provide real-time surveillance data on Russian targets and fire their heavy weapons with unprecedented accuracy.

“Each drone provides the opportunity to destroy enemy troops,” said Valerii Iakovenko, founder of DroneUA, a Ukrainian tech firm that advises the government on drone use.

Iakovenko said the Ukrainian military was using more than 6,000 drones, largely manufactured in China. Although varying according to model, most of the unmanned aerial vehicles are commercially available multirotor craft typically used in the media, agriculture and engineering sectors. They can operate for up to 30 minutes and as far as 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) into enemy territory.

“This is the first time ever where we see such a level of robotics used during conflict,” Iakovenko said.

 
For we gravel bellies, what class drone would these qualify as? I'm guessing 1 & 2?
Yes.

NATO classes (US DoD uses different ones) are based on a combo of size, weight, and range/endurance. There's also the "armed or not" part, but that seems pretty blurry now.

The chart below is pretty old, but still mostly relevant:

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Bayraktar TB2 would seem to be the very high end Class II with some capabilities in the Class III level.

Maybe, now that we are back to conventional fights, NATO can decide to quantify what should be the characteristics and capabilities of a division level UAV.
 
Good article on drones/UAV's for other than artillery missions. I have been following the African experiments with blood movement by drones with interest.

 
Could put this in one of several threads related to unmanned systems (air, land or sea) but article is specifically about control of swarms...


Having a single operator being able to control an extremely large number of unmanned systems would suggest that low cost, attritable systems could be a viable approach to warfare.

We've seen in Ukraine/Azerbaijan/Israel how single quadcopters, lancet/switchblade-type "kamikaze" UAVs, jet ski based USVs, etc. can be effective in both recce and attack missions. Imagine a swarm of 100 of these vehicles deployed and controlled by a single operator rather than each requiring its own controller. Defenses could be quickly overwhelmed. Radical changes could be required in both platforms and force structures to meet the challenge. Combined with AI we might be on the verge of a true RMA that makes our current way of thinking about combat obsolete.
 
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