In Focus

Are bird-sized drones the next-gen of defence aircraft?

Wasp AE in hand comparison. (XTEK)

Drones are already marking their legacy, but as they keep getting smaller, can they provide the same capability? Bella Richards explores the good and the bad of small unmanned aerial systems (SUAS) for defence, and whether they are worth the investment.

When the first pilotless aircraft was invented in the First World War, aviators would have never imagined that their bulky, highly-visible drones would one day become almost impossible to detect – but that is where we are today. Now, small drones, which can easily be mistaken for a bird, and can fit into a backpack, are changing how nations fight wars. But is this multi-million-dollar movement towards using small drones in combat worth it?

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