Chinese researchers have revealed a military drone capable of multiplying swiftly, dividing into six units midair, that could form swarms to disrupt air defense systems, as reported by Business Insider.

According to the South China Morning Post, Chinese engineers have developed a groundbreaking military drone able to quickly split into six distinct units mid-flight, showcasing advancements in air separation technology with potential battlefield airspace implications.

Faster and more efficient than conventional multirotor drones, these devices surprise adversaries by transforming into expansive swarms on the battlefield. Researchers from Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics highlighted this feature.

These drones possess a single blade both when united and divided. They navigate like standard drones and communicate with each other while executing complex missions.


Despite their unconventional design, their flight efficiency surpasses that of similar-sized multirotor drones by nearly double, as detailed in a peer-reviewed paper published in the Acta Aeronautica et Astronautica Sinica journal last month. While traditional drones tend to slow down when combined, these drones maintain 40 percent higher flight efficiency even when separated into individual units.

The technologists said that a soldier equipped with multiple drones could disassemble them to accomplish diverse missions, providing China’s People’s Liberation Army with a tactical edge against adversaries.

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The Chinese defense ministry said in a statement on Sunday that this operation is "not targeted at any third party and has nothing to do with the current international and regional situation."

“The main benefit is the ability to confuse the response of air defense systems,” Will Shumate, an Assistant Policy Researcher of China, Technology, and Security at RAND, said.

In a comment to Business Insider, Shumate disclosed that when drones are detected, air defense systems allocate resources based on the perceived threat level.

Shumate revealed that if the threat were to suddenly multiply, it could present an opportunity to overwhelm the air defense resources in play. He further mentioned that if the drone were prepared for deployment and a conflict were to emerge today, it could potentially be a tactical game changer.


However, he expressed skepticism about the immediate likelihood of deploying combat ready UAVS.

Shumate said that China’s technology development process often remains opaque, cautioning against assuming this announcement of a breakthrough heralds an imminent deployment of these systems.

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