UK attacks from above using military twin jet 3D-printed UAVs

LONDON ($1=0.85 British Pounds) — At the Global Air and Space Chiefs’ Conference 2022 currently taking place in London, UK, it became clear that the Royal Air Force is working on military strategies to overcome enemy defenses from above, not from the ground. According to Air Chief Marshall Sir Mike Wigston, these are lessons that are currently being learned from the actions of Russian and Ukrainian soldiers in the war in Ukraine.

UK sends to Ukraine 70km range UAVs able to deliver 68kg munition
Photo: Malloy Aeronautics

The British strategy, and apparently the test results so far, have shown that the kingdom can overcome enemy defenses if it uses swarms of drones. According to Sir Mike Wigston, the RAF and the Office of Rapid Capabilities tested five types of drones in 13 experiments with different payloads and equipment over three years.

It is noteworthy that the strategy of the British, according to the words of Sir Mike Wigston, is based on the following military tactics: to produce drones when Britain needs them, not because Britain must have them. For this reason, the time required to produce this type of unmanned aerial vehicle is extremely important.

Precisely because of the time required to produce a drone, it turns out that for years the UK has been developing and apparently successfully testing twin jet 3D-printed drones to operate as a swarm. “We are exploring new models of capability delivery and accelerated production ‘when we need them’ rather than ‘in case we need them,’ from the twin jet 3D-printed Pizookie, to commercially available large drones fitted with novel payloads, to large quadcopters,” Wigston said.

Britain attacks from above using twin jet 3D-printed drones
Photo credit: gagdget.com

Ukraine is proof of the correct strategy of the British, says Wigston. According to him, the two warring countries have successfully eliminated the air power of each, expressed in fighters, and currently rely solely on the ground artillery unit as a means of fighting. However, rapidly printed drones used in swarms can easily change this by being sacrificed, engaging enemy air defenses while fourth and fifth-generation fighters do their work. We must also take into account one very important fact – the funds that are given in the development and renewal of next-generation fighters are large, so the loss of such equipment is always painful. But losing 3D printed drones like swarms is not.

Britain has been experimenting with 3D-printed UAVs for years. The first known such as in 2015, when a 3D printed drone was recently launched from a British military warship and successfully flew to shore, a demonstration that could pave the way for futuristic spy drones that can be printed at sea.

3D printing of complex structures, such as a drone, is characterized by a process of printing various components, units, and parts layer by layer. Nylon, plastic, and metal are the materials that can be used. 3D printing allows for the creation of light and strong parts, but with large dimensions.

Britain attacks from above using twin jet 3D-printed drones
Photo credit: gagadget.com

A similar drone was unveiled at the Dubai Airshow this year. According to its manufacturers [Stratasys and Aurora], the drone reaches a speed of 240 km/h [150 mph], has a wingspan of three meters, and weighs 15 kg. The fuselage is printed in nylon, while the jet ejector is printed in metal. According to the manufacturers, it was the fuselage that took the most time to make, a whole… 9 days.

In the strategy of the Royal Air Force, Sir Mike Wigston sees one flaw – there is a very high probability that an aerial attack by swarms of 3D printed drones against the enemy’s air defense system will not be successful due to the “lack of necessary range and speed”.

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