A4 Article in conference proceedings
Mini-drones swarms and their potential in conflict situations (2020)

Lehto, M., & Hutchinson, B. (2020). Mini-drones swarms and their potential in conflict situations. In B. K. Payne, & H. Wu (Eds.), ICCWS 2020 : Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security (pp. 326-334). Academic Conferences International. The proceedings of the ... international conference on cyber warfare and security.

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Lehto, Martti; Hutchinson, Bill

Parent publication: ICCWS 2020 : Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security

Parent publication editors: Payne, Brian K.; Wu, Hongyi


  • International Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security

Place and date of conference: Norfolk, United States, 12.-13.3.2020

ISBN: 978-1-912764-52-5

Journal or series: The proceedings of the ... international conference on cyber warfare and security

ISSN: 2048-9870

eISSN: 2048-9889

Publication year: 2020

Pages range: 326-334

Number of pages in the book: 658

Publisher: Academic Conferences International

Place of Publication: Reading

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/69053

Additional information: Artikkeli julkaistu myös lehdessä Journal of Information Warfare, 20(1), 33-49.


The Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) commonly known as drones are currently used in a wide range of operations such as border monitoring, aerial reconnaissance, traffic control and military interventions in armed conflicts. These aerial vehicles are expected to be reliable, automated and sometimes autonomous machines, albeit the human factor continues to play a crucial role in programming and control. At their genesis, drones were complex, large and reserved to an exclusive club of technologically advanced military powers. They tended to be used against technologically weak military targets. Developments in the price, size and sophistication of drones has now enabled almost anyone to purchase them. These contemporary machines are often small, and, with increasing usage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has put them in the cost and usage range of almost any combatant. Therefore, there is a need to re-think strategies and tactics for their use. These 'mini-drones' rarely have the sophistication and capabilities of 'conventional' drones, but they do have the ability to provide an asset in large numbers and increasing capabilities. Although they might not have such attributes as the lifting capabilities of the larger models, they can be used economically and en masse and so have can have a different but equally effective outcomes. This paper examines the swarming and associated abilities to overwhelm a combatant as well as bring extra functionality by means of extra sensors spread throughout the swarm. Thus, sophisticated AI provides a swarm with various types of functionality to the drones: for instance, dummy/distraction drones, kinetic and non-kinetic attack drones, surveillance drones as well as drones that can be equipped with wireless access points and deployed to configure an ad-hoc flying network. This paper also examines UAV/drone categories and autonomy and also how autonomy and Swarm intelligence (SI) can be used to create efficiency for a variety of operation concepts.

Keywords: military operations; unmanned aerial vehicles; military technology; artificial intelligence; swarm intelligence

Free keywords: drone; security; swarming

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 15:11