Samuel Bendett, an expert on the military use of drones at the Center for New American Security, a think tank, says Roadrunner could be used in Ukraine to intercept Iranian-made Shahed drones, which have become an effective way for Russian forces to target stationary Ukrainian targets.
Bendett says both Russian and Ukrainian forces are now using drones in a complete “kill chain,” with disposable consumer drones being used for target acquisition and then either short- or long-range suicide drones being used to attack. “There is a lot of experimentation taking place in Ukraine, on both sides,” Bendett says. “And I’m assuming that a lot of US [military] innovations are going to be built with Ukraine in mind.”
This experimentation has included use of naval drones as well as artificial intelligence for targeting and drone control. Last month, New Scientist reported that Ukrainian forces may be using a drone that employs AI to target and attack human targets without human control—a “lethal autonomous weapon”—but Bendett says he hasn’t been able to confirm this.
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