Leonardo Demonstrates swarming drones to RAF

Leonardo demonstrated a swarming drone capability for the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) in July, during which a number of small remotely piloted aircraft equipped with the company’s electronic warfare jamming technology were used to confuse and overwhelm trial radars simulating enemy air-defence systems.

An artist’s impression of the swarming drone demonstration that Leonardo conducted for the RAF in July. (Leonardo)

Announced by Leonardo on 7 October, the trials were conducted working in partnership with the Royal Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) and UK subject matter experts Callen Lenz and Blue Bear.

“This live trial of the concept conducted by UK armed forces represents a key step towards proving an autonomous swarming drone capability,” Leonardo said.

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According to Leonardo, the demonstration involved an undisclosed number of Callen Lenz drones equipped with a modified Leonardo BriteCloud decoy being used against ground-based radar systems representing an enemy air-defence emplacement (the BriteCloud was adapted for this role from its original intended application as a protective decoy for fast jets).

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