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Babbage from The Economist

Babbage: Cheaper, faster drones are intensifying warfare

First-person view (FPV), drones are transforming the war in Ukraine. Built from repurposed racing drones, they are laden with explosives and used like precision-guided missiles. They are cheap and have been used to disable tanks and other battlefield equipment and even to chase soldiers into dugouts. Both Russia and Ukraine are rapidly scaling up production of these drones and the technology is not standing still either. Both sides are looking to incorporate artificial intelligence into their drones so that they can better-recognise and attack targets, even when they have been cut off from their pilots. FPV drones will change how wars are fought everywhere.


Host: Alok Jha, The Economist’s science and technology editor. Contributors: Oleksii Asanov, founder of the KazhanFLY drone school in Kyiv; Ulrike Franke, senior fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations; Samuel Bendett, a military analyst at the Centre for Naval Analysis; Shashank Joshi, The Economist’s defence editor and The Economist’s David Hambling.


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