The U.S. Air Force is developing 'micro-drones,' which are the size of tiny creatures, capable of flying through cities unnoticed.
The U.S. Air Force describes these Micro Air Vehicles (MAV) as “unobtrusive, pervasive and lethal” (video below).
The Air Force has nonetheless already constructed a “micro-aviary” at Wright-Patterson for flight-testing small drones. It’s a cavernous chamber—35 feet high and covering almost 4,000 square feet—with padded walls. Micro-aviary researchers, much of whose work is classified, decline to let me witness a flight test. But they do show me an animated video starring micro-UAVs that resemble winged, multi-legged bugs. The drones swarm through alleys, crawl across windowsills, and perch on power lines. One of them sneaks up on a scowling man holding a gun and shoots him in the head.
What, one might ask, will prevent terrorists and criminals from getting their hands on some kind of lethal drone? Although American officials rarely discuss the threat in public, they take it seriously.
...Exercises carried out by security agencies suggest that defending against small drones would be difficult. Under a program called Black Dart, a mini-drone two feet long tested defenses at a military range. A video from its onboard camera shows a puff of smoke in the distance, from which emerges a tiny dot that rapidly grows larger before whizzing harmlessly past: That was a surface-to-air missile missing its mark. In a second video an F-16 fighter plane races past the drone without spotting it.