In modern warfare, unmanned combat weapons are becoming more and more useful. In this Russia-Ukraine war, both sides used drones to attack each other’s targets and achieved considerable results. Nowadays, all countries have realized the importance of drones in modern warfare.

 Therefore, based on single-machine combat of drones, many new combat methods have been derived, or they can directly confront U.S. aircraft carriers, making their air defense systems helpless.

(The U.S. military proposed to develop the “Super Swarm” UAV combat system in 2023)

1. Drone Technology

UAVs have roughly undergone four stages, from stand-alone combat to collective combat. In the early days, remote control still commanded UAVs and could not fly autonomously. 

They were mainly used for military reconnaissance and surveillance. In the second development stage, UAVs have mastered autonomous flight and navigation control capabilities. During this period, they already have reconnaissance and strike capabilities and are frequently used in actual combat.

In 2014, when the U.S. Navy was performing missions in the Persian Gulf, small Iranian drones repeatedly tracked and interfered with it. It is reported that at that time, Iran mainly launched a formation of small and medium-sized drones from the ground to carry out cover-type provocations and warnings against U.S. warships. The United States naturally cannot tolerate being deflated in front of Iran.

Therefore, the United States began to study how to counter the threat of small drone clusters attacking surface ships at sea in batches but soon discovered that drone swarm tactics are very effective in offensive and defensive confrontations at sea.

 In many simulated confrontations, the U.S. military found that the threat posed by a single drone is limited, but once it is used in batches, the situation of both sides will change dramatically. In 2012, the U.S. military committed itself to advance research on swarm combat technology.

2. The rise of China’s “swarm.”

Nowadays, all countries have studied the combat mode of UAV swarm confrontation. Compared with the United States, the progress of China’s swarm drones is gratifying. 

According to CCTV news reports, an amphibious heavy-duty synthetic brigade of the People’s Liberation Army has attracted the outside world’s attention with hundreds of rotor drones during the joint landing exercise of the cross-sea island seizure system.

In the picture, these drones participate in “combat” through swarm formations. Some are used for reconnaissance and surveillance, some are mounted with electronic equipment for interference, and some launch suicide attacks. 

Each has its own purpose, but in the end, they all assist the People’s Liberation Army in completing Soft and hard damage to the target.

It is worth mentioning that at the previous Abu Dhabi Defense Exhibition, China publicly demonstrated the “Select” swarm drone system. It is understood that “Selection” is the second 48-unit swarm drone system developed by China. 

Compared with the previous ones, “Selection” has more outstanding performance. It can launch 48 drones at a time, covering an area of ​​200 kilometers. , and can perform saturation strikes.

(The “selection” system exhibited by CETC at the Abu Zhan Defense Exhibition)

3. How can China fight the U.S. aircraft carrier?

In view of the efficient combat capability of the UAV “swarm,” there are many questions from the outside world, the most popular of which is, “Can UAVs deal with the U.S. aircraft carrier battle group”? The answer is yes. Facing the 11 U.S. aircraft carrier strike groups, China holds two “trump cards.”

 One is the “Dongfeng Express.” The “Dongfeng Express,” which is fast, unbreakable, extremely powerful, and able to carry out precise and efficient strikes, is indeed a great weapon against U.S. aircraft carriers.

However, in addition to this, the “drone swarm” is also a new type of combat method that can fight against U.S. aircraft carriers. Compared with using missile attacks, this method has many advantages. When a “drone swarm” attacks, the defensive side often falls into the dilemma of being “unable to defend” and “unable to fight.”

In addition, drones may also introduce suicide attacks, which is to equip drones with an explosive warhead to allow them to carry out self-destruct attacks. Imagine when countless drones “swarm” into large targets such as aircraft carriers and destroy them by self-destructing; one can imagine the power that can be produced. From this point of view, it is no wonder that the U.S. aircraft carrier can’t avoid it.

The development of swarm drones has made great progress, and their applications can cover many fields, such as military, civilian, commercial, scientific research, etc. 

In the military field, cluster drones can realize long-range reconnaissance and surveillance, strike enemy targets, and provide support and other functions while reducing casualties and military costs.

 In the future, once swarm drones are equipped in large numbers, they will form a powerful attack system, which can pose a huge threat to the enemy’s defense system, thus changing the way of war.