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'Game of Drones' -- a Live War Game About Drone Combat Strategy ( 37

derekmead writes: A national security think tank just ran a two-day war game designed to explore the different ways that drones could be used for tactical and strategic effect in a conflict. The participants engaged in 12 different scenarios and "debated the efficacy of using drones as airborne improvised explosive devices, or as a way to harass an adversary’s air force."

The summit sought to address whether shooting down a drone might escalate tensions between countries or whether drones changed the character of a conflict by giving actors capabilities they didn't have before. As more and more state and non-state actors acquire drones, the war game illustrated how drones could be used in creative ways to further political or military objectives (PDF).

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'Game of Drones' -- a Live War Game About Drone Combat Strategy

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  • by MagickalMyst ( 1003128 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2015 @03:35PM (#50858071)
    '... by giving actors capabilities they didn't have before.'

    Calling soldiers and warriors 'actors' would imply that these evil wars are little more than Hollywood special effects.

    If only that were true.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) *

      They're not using the word in that sense. In military terms, an "actor" is merely an entity that takes an action. Think of the distinction between a "state actor" (referring to a combatant operating on behalf of a government) versus an individual acting of his own accord.

    • by tomhath ( 637240 )
      Either that, or it implies they are the ones performing actions (which is the customary meaning of the word).
    • It's technical jargon and uses a meaning of the word you're not familiar with. I love how the moment the conversation escapes your vocabulary, you immediately leap to erroneous conclusions that support your pre-existing political biases.
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2015 @03:45PM (#50858183)

    >> debated the efficacy of using drones as airborne improvised explosive devices

    congrats you invented the "missile"

    • Which we've had for decades. Long before this scary "drone" word was invented, causing all sorts of concern among people who apparently don't understand technology. Or words.

      • Drones have been around since the 1920's and were used extensively in WW-II.

        See German Fi-103 [], US JB-2 Loon [] and Japanese Fu-Go [].

        Those that do not now history are doomed to repeat it.

        • The word "drone" was supposed to reference the self-guiding autonomous aspect, where such a vehicle is capable of making decisions independent of an operator. With that kind of definition, buzz-bombs didn't fit the bill.

          • Sure they did. They were limited by the technology to what types of decisions, but they were certainly self controlled otherwise would have crashed immediately after takeoff. Even the v2 had limited self control for the boost phase after which it was ballistic (uncontrolled).
    • did you actually think about what you were saying? the fact that anyone can easily purchase a missile now for such a low price is a huge fucking deal.


      • did you actually think about what you were saying? the fact that anyone can easily purchase a missile now for such a low price is a huge fucking deal.

        Weaponized drones are/could become a big deal, but to compare it to a cruise missile is over inflating things a bit. A Tomahawk cruises at around 550 mph, and has a 1500 mile range. You aren't going to purchase a drone at your local Hobby Hut that comes anywhere close to that. A Tomahawk also carries a 1000 lb conventional warhead, or cluster bombs. There is also the retired 150 kt nuclear warhead. The US still has them, just not attached to any deployed missiles at the moment. A tomahawk can also fly in a

  • One $150 million dollar F-35 airplane vs 100 explosive drones costing 1000$ each.

    Too expensive? Fine! Build your own weather balloons, with explosives!

    In fact, forget the F-35 and the explosives...

    Fight for your bitcoins! []

    • Fleets of balloons to interfere with aircraft has been tried before []. With higher flying aircraft it becomes impractical to teather to the ground (per Wikipedia), and filling several million cubic feet with balloons packed close enough to have a good probability of hit is impractical (and temporary if they're not tethered).

  • Even non-armed or non-weaponized drones could wreak havoc on civilian craft and military aircraft. With a swarm a drones, any plane on takeoff or landing is vulnerable. Helicopters as well. [] A swarm of small, low cost drones could act as an effective and hard to detect air shield.
  • Recon (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2015 @04:05PM (#50858379)

    A quad with a GoPro would allow ground forces to scout out prepared defenses (or facilitate patrolling the perimeter of said prepared defenses) without revealing their own location or risking casualties. This would be particularly useful in urban engagements where rooftops become essential overwatch/combat positions.

    Imagine you are a small group of fighters facing an opponent that you know has occupied part of a city block but you don't know the exact location of their forces. You could send a couple guys down alleys hoping to draw fire, or you throw a small drone in the air checking rooftops for snipers or machine gun positions, vehicles hidden behind buildings, or troops gathering in courtyards. Suddenly you have a pretty good estimate of the limits of their positions and can possibly come up with a path that avoids most overwatch positions allowing you to get in close and possibly negating any firepower superiority they may have, or you might be able to identify their CP for direct attack (possibly a suicide bombing depending on motivations).

    • The Honeywell T-Hawk and then next generation numerous other hand-launched drones (useful when not in windy situations, need bigger ones for wind) have been doing this in Iraq and Afghanistan for a very long time. They are very effective -- troops love them, because they can continually scout around any corners. It turned a significant percentage of ambushes into actually ambushing the enemy. Same concept, and has been in use for quite a few years.
  • I saw the title and thought this was gonna be about drone combat for hobbyists, like Robot Wars, and I was like sweeeet!

  • I'm sure that one important topic discussed was how the greater public may react to different methods of using drones compared to boots on the ground or planes in the air. Since you essentially have a piloted plane where the pilot can't die or be captured the public may view various uses with passive interest.Historically we have seen that the greater public in any society rebels or gets upset when they are directly affected. This affect may be financial or social. If a government might use a drone to furth

    • The media needs to do whatever it can to make a profit, even if that include making stuff up. Sure after a while some may stop listening to them, but it's a calculus problem to maximize the final value.
  • No I don't want to play drone war how about global thermonuclear war?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's by Cordwainer Smith

    "War No. 81-Q" (rewritten version) (1961)

    In a near future time period nation states resolve disputes via highly regulated spectator sport-like wars. These wars are fought over defined areas for defined periods of less than a week, between drone dirigibles controlled by expert pilots thousands of miles from the battlefield. Smith economically sets the scene and then tells us the history of one of these brief wars, in which the United States and Tibet fight over the ownership

  • We need to come up with a new name for these airborne improvised explosive devices.
    May I suggest Modular Independent Sacrificial Seeking Impact Lethal Explosive

  • Game of Drones

    The FAA sends their regards.

Exceptions prove the rule, and wreck the budget. -- Miller