Flying Binoculars Market
Armed forces around the world are estimated to own ~1.2 hand-held binoculars per soldier. For police, fire and home defence services, the ratio is lower at ~0.75. Flying binoculars offer a step change in capability over hand-held.
The British Army was the first to purchase Flying Binoculars – for deployment in Afghanistan. The capability has now been brought into the Ministry of Defence's core equipment programme. Based on the success of that purchase, the initial procurement by an armed force is estimated to be ~0.1 flying binoculars per soldier. Subsequent procurement is predicted to grow towards penetration rates associated with hand-held binoculars.
The West’s involvement in foreign conflicts is reducing. When intervention is sanctioned, it is typically in the form of air strikes or training. There are fewer boots on the ground.
Swarm Systems believes that in the future, swarms of Nano UAS may offer an effective alternative to boots on the ground. If swarming fulfils some of its promise, transport aircraft could release swarms of up to 8,000 air vehicles over a conflict zone in one drop. Each vehicle is autonomous and individually tasked but they work collaboratively to gather intelligence, project power and solve real world problems.
Recently, a book was published that speculates on some of the future capabilities for swarming: ‘Swarm Troopers’ by David Hambling, a leading technology journalist and author. www.swarm-troopers.com
Swarm Systems was founded to pioneer the market for swarms of military air vehicles. It received its first research contract ‘Autonomous Hovering MAV Swarm’ in 2008 and has been researching swarming ever since. Products do not exist yet, but through the choice of its company name and its strategy, it is positioning itself to be a major player in the future of swarming UAS.