since drone swarm technology can control large amounts of drones in a coordinated manner, could it also be used on missiles? Imagine an aircraft could launch a few swarms of small missiles (like a itano circus/macross missile massacre), each swarm could "box in" multiple enemy planes from a few directions and spray the area with shrapnel. The missiles don't have to be big and have large fuel tank and it would be guided by the radars on EACH member of the swarm and on the aircraft itself. Would this system be a practical dogfight weapon?(assuming the aircraft could carry this weapon syetem without decreasing its aerodynamics)

  • $\begingroup$ "Could it be used on missiles?" As soon as someone actually puts in the work to do it. Ideas do not implement themselves. Since you came up with the idea, I nominate you to sit at an engineering work bench for the next 8 years and make this happen. $\endgroup$
    – abelenky
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 16:03
  • $\begingroup$ AA missiles are already a swarm of hot metal scraps the instant it detonates $\endgroup$
    – jean
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 19:04
  • $\begingroup$ gizmodo.com/… $\endgroup$
    – abelenky
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 16:09

1 Answer 1



Missiles are the size they are so they can carry the warhead all the way from the launcher to the target. The warhead is designed to be "just big enough" to destroy the target, but no larger. (Adding just a little bit of unnecessary weight to the warhead/payload of a rocket massively increases the amount of fuel required to maintain the same performance, thanks to the Rocket Equation)

If you want to replace a single missile with 10 "mini-missiles", you'd find the effective range of those missiles would be unacceptably low. Furthermore, the mini-bombs that you'd fit on the mini-missiles might scratch the paint on the target but likely would not pose much of a threat, even in a swarm environment.

Think of it another way - it's really easy to defend against 500 pounds of bees (wear a bee suit). It's a lot harder to defend yourself against an angry 500 pound bear.


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