the US marines burning through two howitzer barrels providing artillery support for the liberation (ie. destruction) of Raqqa sounds like something from the Western Front a hundred years earlier, except ironically it wasn’t common to level entire cities to the ground during the Great War.
you can’t help thinking that the pressures of urban warfare practically demand a drone swarm approach, something that cannot possibly be developed by the military in isolation and will depend upon close cooperation with tech giants.
Modern Warfare is fundamentally an information driven endeavor
Starting in the second world war (see the sudden increase in the importance of Radar, intelligence/counterintelligence, and portable radio equipment), the increase in power and precision of modern military heavy weapons (Artilllary, tanks, and Airstrikes) meant that the only real way to avoid being destroyed completely was to not be seen long enough to find and destroy the enemy.
Urban warfare adds a third dimension to warfare and vastly increases the density of information that needs to be found. a 500×500 meter field is easy to surveil but an office building? 30 floors all filled with spots to hide nasty surprises.
there is a reason why the predator drone, a remote control reconnaissance platform, is the face of modern warfare.
the predator drone is still weak as hell when it comes to the office building scenario, which is why they ultimately committed to levelling the city by the time honoured method of blowing it up.
think drones the size of pigeons, drones that can go inside buildings,
What’s to stop enemy forces from just shooting down your little pigeon drones? A predator drone is safe up in the sky because it’s only fighting poorly armed non-state forces who don’t even have anti-aircraft guns. But if you’re trying to send a drone into a building, the enemy can just shoot at it or better yet just run up to it, grab it, and smash it.
probably because there are lots of them, they’re travelling at several hundred kilometres an hour in unpredictable patterns, they garrote people with piano wire as they pass, and if you grab them they explode.
They can’t move at 300km/h inside a building, and even then 160km/h is far more likely as a top speed, and probably much less than that in practice since that requires significant optimization for flying in a straight line (there’s a reason the US Army commissioned tilt-rotor aircraft instead of just using helicopters!). They won’t be able to exert sufficient force to garrote people because they have to be light weight. The part of this that’s the most accurate is making flying mines, though explosive weight is also non-trivial.
However, apparently the reason it’s so difficult to shoot missiles down with either lasers or kinetic weapons is because they’re moving so fast, but to gain the maneuverability to move through a building, a drone will necessarily be much slower, and thus more vulnerable to automated weapons systems using munitions that are even cheaper than flying mines. Issue is the cost of that system and how portable it is for infantry. Since it’s a military engagement and not a parade, towing one along can be justified.
before they enter the building they can create a perimeter around the outside and deny access to windows, making the building useless as a shield for snipers, as well as using various sensory modalities to locate the people within the building before entering, so that the necessary lethality can be deployed more selectively than simply levelling it with howitzers from twenty miles away.
Y’all are adorable babes in the wood by the standards of the cruel calculus of battle.
You can’t shoot it down because that confirms you are in the building and congratulations, now you all get to die. The don’t have to search the building any more, they just have to call in the fast movers for a pin-point strike.