Last week, at Camp Pendleton in California, I watched a Marine landing exercise. First, drones came in to map out what was on shore. Then an amphibious landing vehicle hits the shore, but the first thing off it was a machine-gun-armed robot, not a human. Then the human Marines arrive. But they are being resupplied by drones. One quadricopter drone comes down to drop an MRE. Then, a Marine changes that supply drone into a strike one, by now putting on board it a grenade and flying it off to hit the enemy. Sounds science fiction? Islamic State is doing similar things with jury-rigged drones in Mosul, Iraq, right now.Back in the late 19th century the new thing for navies was the torpedo. So we had torpedo boats intended to launch them. And then the navies developed "torpedo boat destroyers", to counter torpedo boats, a name then shortened to "destroyers". The article notes that our new destroyer is now comparable to a heavy cruiser of WWII.
How soon will we have "drone destroyers"--inquiring minds want to know?