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New Record Set for Military Drones Flying at Once

"...only going to increase."

(Image: Lt Col Leslie Pratt/U.S. Air Force)

We've seen swarms of miniature drones flying at one time in coordinated efforts, but amping up the size of the unmanned aerial vehicles to those actually designed for weaponized warfare and the ability to fly many at once becomes more complicated. In fact, the U.S. Air Force just set a new record for the number of Predator and Reaper drones flown at the same time. In total, there were 10.

According to the Air Force's Air Combat Command website, this new record for a non-combat drone swarm was set Oct. 2 by the 29th Attack Squadron, 9th Attack Squadron, and the 6th Reconnaissance Squadron at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.

"In the last year alone, the work the operations and maintenance RPA teams accomplish every day has grown by two-thirds, from six to 10 lines," Col. Kenneth Johnson, 49th Operations Group commander, said according to the post written by Airman 1st Class Michael Shoemaker.

Drone pilots fly a MQ-9 Reaper during a training mission at the air force base. (Photo: U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Michael Shoemaker/Released)

A line is described as the drone and all the crew required to maintain and operate the aircraft. Each of the 10 drones -- four MQ-1 Predators and six MQ-9 Reapers --- had their own crew.

With this new record, Johnson said, "We finally have the physical capacity to accomplish our mission to increase programmed flight training and develop the best possible [remotely piloted aircraft] crew members."

Capt. Andrew, whose last name is withheld for security reasons, is reported as saying with advances drone use "is only going to increase."


(H/T: Gizmodo)

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