How Drones Fight by Lars Celander

How Drones Fight: An Interview with Lars Celander

Lars Celander served in the Swedish Army as a technician on the RBS 70 anti-aircraft missile system. With his many years of experience in IT, on both civilian and military systems, Lars became a design engineer on various military radar and communications systems for several years.

Now retired, Lars has written a number of books, including his newest one, How Drones Fight, in which Lars surveys the different types of drones, detailing their navigation, communication, sensor systems, and weaponry.

We recently spoke with Lars to ask him about his upcoming book as well as the effect drones have in modern day warfare:    

Casemate: Can you give us some background on what these types of drones are and what they do?

Lars: There are a few types of drones used out on the battlefield; the most common one is a civilian quadcopter which is designed in China. This type of drone is used for reconnaissance over enemy lines.

Another type of drone is the FPV drone, commonly used as a “kamikaze” drone. The FPV drone is a faster quadcopter carrying a warhead, which is the head of an explosive.

The sky above the battlefield is saturated with drones. They are seen as ammunition and are used by the millions.

Drones are certainly evolving rapidly, but not as fast as battlefield tactics.

And how are these drones affecting the battlefield?

Lars: Well first of all, these drones are very difficult to hide. If not carefully concealed, they are detected and destroyed either by another drone or by some type of long-range rocket or artillery.

Secondly, drones are looking for something to dive on and destroy.

Most operations are now difficult to carry out because of drones. There is no effective way to combat small drones, except maybe figuring out a way to jam them.

How do you think the usage of drones is affecting the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine?

Lars: Drones see everything that is going on, so there are no surprises anymore. Drones have made the defense stronger than the offense. The frontlines have become stable, and the war will drag on with little territory changing hands.

Eventually, both sides will tire of war and there will be a ceasefire. In the end, Russia will get to keep what it has captured in Donbas and Crimea.

What are your predictions for the evolution of drone warfare?

Lars: Small drones will become much more sophisticated and capable. Night sights will become standard and radio links will become more resistant to jamming. They will also become more capable of autonomous operations and might even use some type of AI.

There will be more specialized, short-range radar systems. Radar technology is a relatively mature technology, but with drones there will be a new generation of radars that are better suited for them.

More drones will be designed to optimize different tasks, some working with other drones and some working on ground-based assets.

Drones will remain as a dominant force on the battlefield.

So how do you think anti-drone warfare will evolve?

Lars: As drone technology evolves, drones will because more resistant to jamming. However, specialized vehicles will have a type of short-range defense against attack drones, like the improved Active Protection System (APS).

Overall, the main weapon against drones will most likely be other drones.

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How Drones Fight

How Small Drones are Revolutionizing Warfare

Lars Celander




208 Pages