Drones over Ukraine at the Naval War College Foundation

Recently, Inside Unmanned Systems writer Sébastien Roblin gave a presentation for the Naval War College Foundation’s annual Dinner with Drones event in beautiful Newport, Rhode Island, concerning his articles in the Spring and Fall issues on the disruptive impacts of drones in the war in Ukraine. He was invited to speak by Captain John Jackson (USN Ret.), author of One Nation Under Drones and an aficionado of unmanned vehicles past, present and speculative.

Sponsored by Foundation CEO George Lang, the October 12 event was attended by graduate students from Jackson’s class and foundation members who contribute to the college’s mission of teaching critical thought on strategy and security to students from across the globe, creating connections between partners and even rivals alike. The presentation discussed topics ranging from “the Great Bayraktar debate” concerning the effectiveness of UCAV drones in high-intensity conflict, the effective use at unprecedented scale of cheap commercial drones in reconnaissance and attack roles, and the mounting impact of Iranian drones exported to Russia for attacks on civilian infrastructure.

The following day, Roblin had a chance to tour Dr. Jackson’s curated collection of UAVs, UGVs and UUVs, and gained insights from students, colleagues and visiting AeroVironment Business Development director Jim Huefner on topics ranging from mine-hunting missions in the Black Sea, applications of the Switchblade and submarine-launched Blackwing drones, and future planned integration of quadcopter SUAS in the U.S. Army and Marines.

It was a learning experience for all.