The drone weaponry that emerged during the Information Age allowed a bewildering array of "smart munitions" that could attack different kinds of targets. Hammer of Thor systems circling above an area, striking down targets as soon as they were recognized, small scoutdrones telling heavy weapons the coordinates of targets, autonomous ground-air missiles that are dropped and then fire themselves when needed, flying carriers that could launch air-air and air-orbit missiles and so on. Satellite-based orbit-air weapons became possible, especially as nanotech began to enable truly powerful lasers. Drones are essential to all modern warfare.
Text by Ndege Diamond
Initially published on 09 October 2001.